My kidney transplant was on February 12, 2018 at UC Davis Hospital in Sacramento, CA. Fortunately I had a living donor. My brother actually decided to give me one of his kidneys. The doctors said that the match was so good it almost is at the same level as a twin match, even though we are 4 years apart in age.

I was first diagnosed with kidney failure May 4th, 2017. I went into the doctor for severe leg cramps, which immobilized me to the point of me just laying on the ground until they passed. Sometimes up to 30 minutes of waiting. About 4 hours after my doctor ordered the blood test to see what was going on, he called me back and said “Hey Scott, you are in kidney failure you have to go to the ER right away”. After all the testings and getting a room upstairs at 2am May 5th 2017, I was told my kidney function was at 5% and that most likely I have had been in kidney failure for about two years, but it was never detected. 

When I was admitted to the hospital my systolic blood pressure was 220. I had to have a neck catheter placed and started my first run of dialysis. My blood pressure was a steady 215. Three days later they took that catheter out and put in a chest dialysis catheter. My blood pressure slowly dropped from 185 to steady 150s.

The cause of my kidney failure is unknown, only speculations. Those speculations are it could be from heritage, since kidney failure is prominent in Japanese people and I am 50% Japanese. It could be from taking Advil for migraines. It could be from energy drinks like Monster and Rockstar, but no definite answer.

When I first found out about my kidney failure it hurt the ones closest to me the most. My mom and my fiancé are both in shock that this can happen to someone like me so young at the age of 27. That is was shook me the most. I have always been positive and that’s the best way for me to look at things. If I am to keep my head up then I’ll be able to push forward. 

The biggest affect kidney failure had on my life was just pure exhaustion. I remember before I found out I would go to work in the morning and right when I got home at 3pm I would instantly pass out. The same is said for dialysis. Honestly it feels like you are just running for miles when you are on the machine. By the time I would finish and get home I would be completely exhausted. Always tired, exhausted, and just wanting to stay home and rest. Going out and doing stuff wasn’t really on my mind as much as it was before.

Receiving a transplant is like a second chance at life. Keeping the healthy eating to fresh everything and low sodium is one thing I took away from my dialysis diet. Now I’m out more going places, walking, exploring when I am able to. It’s my chance to live my life and travel. I want to visit Alaska again, since I have family there. I want to visit Chicago and have my Fiancé show me all the places she loves, since she is from there. I want to do so much now and the transplant has given me that. My transplant allows me to live day by day and not miss an opportunity.

I wish more people understood that kidney transplants are temporary. Just because I have received one doesn’t mean I am cured. I’m looking forward to living my second chance at life and hoping that my brother’s kidney will last me 40+ years. The tough thing is that I already know I will need a second transplant in my lifetime. It is just how it is and I’ve already accepted that in my life.

I am very fortunate to receive a transplant before one year of finding out. I signed up for UC Davis deceased donor list and was told it would be an estimated 7 years on the waitlist for deceased donor. Fortunately my brother pulled through and gave me a gift that is amazing in so many ways.

It's been almost 3 months since my transplant and my blood pressure is steady at the mid 120s/80s. I'm still taking medication to control it and I try to eat low sodium foods. When I cook at home I use salt free seasonings like Mrs. Dash.

Location: Rocklin, CA