My name is Caryn Becker and when I was a teenager, I found out my dad had ADPKD. He let his kidney function drop until his creatinine was 14! He was very sick and eventually went on dialysis. My dad received a kidney transplant a year later. We were so excited! The transplant allowed my dad to visit me in Austria, where I was an exchange student. Unfortunately, his new kidney failed two years later. He was on hemodialysis for a total of 14 years. Even after his kidneys failed, my dad worked for 10 years and was a top salesman at his firm. His work ethic taught me to never give up.
Fast forward to my early 30s when I found out I had ADPKD. I had an ultrasound of my kidneys because I wanted to know my fate. I was devastated. A year later, my dad passed away from sepsis. A staph infection occurred at the graft in his shoulder, damaged his heart valve, and eventually took over his body. My PKD diagnosis and my dad’s death led to depression, so I sought help.
When I met my husband, things started looking up. We got married and I had a child. It took 17 years from my diagnosis for my kidney function to reach 20%. What a full life I had in between!
Because of my pregnancy, I had high antibodies and had trouble finding a living donor match. That turned into a blessing when I was matched with a deceased donor who had the same antibodies as me. I was only on the waitlist 11 months before I had my kidney transplant. I hope that my kidney transplant lasts many years to come!