When he visited the doctor to find out why he was experiencing extreme fatigue, the last thing 22-year-old Anthony expected to hear was that he was eventually going to need a kidney transplant.
He learned he had chronic kidney disease that had reached an advanced state where his kidney was no longer functioning properly and which meant that he may need a transplant.
Over the next five years, Anthony was closely monitored by his doctor and the laboratory, and took medication to reduce his symptoms. But his kidney slowly deteriorated, and a transplant was imminent. After laboratory testing, his sister-in-law proved to be the match he needed, and Anthony received the transplant in April 2017—just two weeks before his son was born.
While Anthony wasn’t familiar with the lab before his diagnosis, he’s since become a great advocate for the role the laboratory plays in people’s lives.
“I have clarity about my numbers and what they mean, and a better understanding of what and how the lab contributes to my health, and that they are a very important part of my medical team,” he notes.
Anthony’s kidney disease is genetic, but because he was adopted, he didn’t know that his diagnosis was possible. Now that he’s a father, Anthony monitors his kids closely through laboratory tests, should they start to display symptoms like he did, and continues to research and learn about his diagnosis and developments in the field.
“Always look at your lab results. If there is something you do not understand, do research or ask your doctor,” Anthony says. “Having that kind of clarity and understanding is vital in your health care because it allows you to be empowered and to make the decisions that are right for you.”