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On the evening of January 2, 2017, Nicki Shotton (at age 32) went to emergency after a few weeks of experiencing headaches, nausea, fatigue and swollen ankles. The next day she was given the sudden diagnoses of end stage (5) renal failure with 10% then 8% then down to 6% kidney function. It felt like her life was hanging on a line, but with the intervention of modern medicine, dialysis machines, drugs, lifesaving transplantation process and amazing doctors, nephrologists, endocrinologists and nurses, she realized that she had an opportunity for life.....although it would forever look different for her. In order to rid her body of built up toxins, she made the choice of immediate hemodialysis about 20 days later, which required her blood to be cleansed for 4 hours per session, 3 times a week at a dialysis clinic, then she was able to switch to home based peritoneal dialysis in May. Meanwhile there were months of extensive testing resulting in a matched donor and a kidney transplant from her Mom…..yet her journey is far from over. She will be taking many anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life, and in order for her new kidney to have the best fighting chance (kidneys have a limited lifespan) and because Nicki has Type 1 diabetes, she will be undergoing a pancreas transplant in the next 3-5 years to keep this kidney in the best shape possible. And then because the pancreas has a limited lifespan too another transplant of each organ (kidney and pancreas) in another 20+ years. Depending on lifespan of these organs, she could be looking at a third round of double transplantation in her lifetime……time will tell. These pictures are of part of her journey so far, including happy successes, times of humor and mostly the love shared by family, friends and a community that is so supportive and that we give our most sincere and heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Part of that community is Kidneys on the Move, started by Doug and Maureen Hobbs, that raises money to provide accommodation for transplant patients from outside the Vancouver area who need to stay there for months after transplant.
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