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"In 2012, I had my first kidney transplant," says Remy Marceau, a Mayo Clinic patient. "It was a treatment for my original condition, Bartter syndrome, which is a genetic defect inside of the renal tubules."
"Four-and-a-half years later, when I went into rejection, it was a big surprise," he continues. "So we talked about a second transplant and waited 2½ years for a living donor because that’s always best."
Watch: Mayo Clinic blog inspires kidney donation.
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"Luckily, April saw the story that was done, and now we’re here today," Remy says, smiling.
"I saw the story of Remy on Sharing Mayo Clinic," explains April Klaus, a regular reader of the blog, which features stories from Mayo Clinic patients, their families and hospital staff.
April saw the article about Remy's need for a second transplant – a second chance at freedom from blood-cleansing dialysis treatments.
"Dialysis is very hard," explains Remy’s physician, Dr. Hasan Khamash, a Mayo Clinic nephrologist. "Besides that, it takes half a day, three times a week."
"April sent me a message, and we talked," explains Remy. "I was actually at dialysis when she sent me [a message]."
"Hey, I have A-negative blood type," says April. "Are you still looking for a donor?"
Remy was still looking, and now he was hoping. And so was April.
"I think it’s just in my heart that I love caring for other people and doing generous things," explains April.
"The best option for someone who’s in need of a kidney transplant is a kidney from a live donor," says Dr. Khamash. "A kidney from a live donor works better and lasts longer."
Tests proved April could be a live donor. She could be Remy’s second chance. The two met each other in person for the first time on the day of the transplant surgery.
"It was very special to meet her that day," says Remy. "And we just connected like we grew up together."
"The day of the surgery, I did feel anxious and nervous," says April. "But I was really excited to be surrounded by so many great people."
Today – his donated kidney functioning well – Remy says he is looking forward to sharing a new chapter of his life with the new friend who made it all possible.
"You try your best to really mean the most with your thank-yous, and really show them your life and how they impacted it," stresses Remy. "I think ... a great way to thank someone is they get to see the progress they’ve created."
Read more about living-donor kidney transplants at Mayo Clinic.
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