Sejal Patel, Waiting For the Gift of Life
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I decided to turn something negative into something positive...
After I finished medical school in 2009, I learned that I needed a new kidney and pancreas to survive. I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when I was 11, and had managed my disease for many years, but when my kidneys failed I had no other option. This was not only a shock, but was also life-changing for me. I decided to turn something that seemed so negative into something positive by never giving up on my dream of giving back.
After being on the wait list for a year, I received my new kidney and pancreas. I decided at that time to use my medical degree to go into clinical research and work with children and adults who are going through similar experiences to what I did while growing up. My experience of having Type I diabetes and being diagnosed with idiopathic kidney disease later in life taught me the importance of organ donation. I got to work on the science of how research in medicine produces treatments and improvements in patient care happen and work with many of the new medicines that help improve survival and outcomes for patients who receive them. I also spend time as a volunteer for Donor Network of Arizona and enjoyed the pleasure it brought to give back to the donation community through my service.
With that being said, my life was and still is great all through the generosity of my donor. With my transplant almost 10 years ago, I am now encountering the end stages of my donor kidney. I was recently diagnosed with end stage renal failure from chronic kidney disease and am patiently waiting on the list for a kidney donation to replace my donor kidney. As I do not look forward to going through all that is involved with a organ transplant, having already been through it once, I am happy to know that there is hope that I will soon be matched with a donor for my new kidney transplant, so I can continue doing what I love and giving back to the community through work and providing others a chance to live fulfilled lives as well.