• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Brothers bond over kidney disease and transplant

September 25, 2016

the Berry brothers standing together by the Mayo Clinic sign

Scott Berry is one of five children. But he and his youngest sibling, David, share a very unique bond — a kidney, to be exact. On April 12, 2016, David gave his older brother a second chance at life by donating one of his kidneys to Scott for a transplant.

A challenging diagnosis

Fifteen years ago, when Scott moved to Florida, he was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the kidneys that affects the kidney’s ability to filter waste, excess water and electrolytes from the blood.

“IgA nephropathy is the most common form of glomerular disease in the world. It essentially is damage caused by abnormal immunoglobulin A in the kidneys’ filtering units, called glomeruli,” explains Martin Mai, M.D., a nephrologist and chair of the Division of Transplant Medicine at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

Although Scott didn’t have any major symptoms, the Fleming Island, Florida, resident experienced extreme fatigue on a regular basis. He saw his local nephrologist every six weeks and was given heavy doses ofprednisone. But over time, the disease progressed, and Scott was close to kidney failure.

Read the rest of the Berry brother's story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.