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Ryan‘s Story

For Ryan of San Diego, organ donation literally saved his life – twice. At the age of 19, Ryan required a kidney transplant. He received a kidney from his mother, Anne. In 2009 Ryan required a second transplant and this time he received a kidney from his sister, Katie. This week Ryan celebrated the 4th anniversary of his second kidney transplant and is doing great. “I‘d really like to thank my Mom and Sister for the second, and third, run on life!“

The reference to running is appropriate given Ryan‘s love for that sport. He recently participated in the Arizona 5K for Healthy Kidneys, finishing as one of the top 40 racers and then running the route a second time in preparation for an upcoming half-marathon. “As a two time transplant recipient, I take a personal note with events like this [for ASF],“ said Ryan, who also participated in the San Diego 5K for Healthy Kidneys last November. “I like to push the boundaries of what I‘m capable of. Like this event — I ran it as a 10K, not just the 5K. There are a lot of young Alport patients who have no idea what to expect after transplant. My participation in these events is a way to show them they can live the most normal life if they put their mind to it.“

Ryan is serious about showing young patients that Alport syndrome doesn‘t have to place limits on their lives. Last summer Ryan served as a youth advocate at the ASF Family Conference in Minnesota, working with the teens who attended and being a role model for them. “Everyone comes into this life with something they have to deal with. This is mine. You choose your own destiny. You can sit back and moan or you can strive for a life that is better than most.“ Despite two transplants, Ryan has succeeded in college and has a great job that he loves. His career is very important to him and he encourages young patients to dream and set goals for the future. “Don‘t let Alport syndrome keep you from succeeding.“

Ryan works hard through diet and exercise to take care of the kidney he has received. “Transplant or not, I‘m healthier than the average person and I live a very full life.“