#2. Why a kidney? - August 2011

One of the reasons I am thinking of being a kidney donor is because my husband had a kidney removed.In 2008 my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It was a  devastating diagnosis for us both, and it resulted in him having his kidney (and the tumour attached to it) removed. Thankfully he is doing fine now!

During 2008 I learned a lot about kidneys. I think the only thing I knew about kidneys before my husband got cancer was their shape, and that we have two of them. I had vague recollections of grade 11 biology, and pictures of blood vessels and arteries, and something about cleaning the blood. I knew that people who had kidney failure were on dialysis. But even my understanding of where the kidneys are was vague.

That changed, of course, as we learned more about the disease that was affecting my husband. And because of that experience, I had a first-hand view of watching someone recover from having a kidney removed. I was told and then saw that the remaining kidney started doing more work. They say that the remaining kidney even grows bigger over time to accommodate the increased work load. Our bodies are amazing.  Our family’s experience with cancer is the reason I started thinking about kidneys in the first place.