After a team of Nephrologists gave Jay the news that he was suffering from Immunoglobulin A we slowly started telling our loved ones what was happening. At first, all we knew was that he was sick. I remember telling people, “worst case scenario he has kidney disease, will need dialysis and/or a transplant.” And BAM the worst case scenario is what unfolded. My first thoughts were of death, basically because it’s my nature to think the worst. My grandfather suffered from kidney disease, was treated with dialysis, received two transplants and ultimately passed away due to complications of the disease. I was much too young at that point to understand any of this but I think you can see why I would associate kidney disease with death. That being said, as people found out about Jays diagnosis a stunning majority also associated the situation with death… BUT not everyone. One of the greatest messages Jay received while in the hospital was a well wish as he started a new chapter in his life, with a reassurance that everyone was there to support him through this journey. When it became apparent that the best chance of a restored life would be a transplant, we had many people “offer” one up like a piece of candy. Most of these people I would like to call “tire kickers”. The type of people that have good intentions but don’t exhibit any follow through. Most of them treat every aspect of their life this way. “I’m going to go to the gym”. But never set foot in a gym door. “I’m going to quit smoking” and they’re still puffing a pack each day. I’m not sad that these people have no follow through in donating a kidney. I don’t expect anyone to give up an organ but of course I hope someone does. Before this scenario went viral, someone did offer. Someone with legitimate intentions, someone we would be more than happy to be tied to for the rest of our lives. In our eyes he was the perfect candidate. A strong, athletic male who already followed a great diet and exercise routine. Not to mention the fact that he holds a phenomenal, selfless personality – a fill your bucket type guy. This man gathered his own research, discussed every avenue with his family and ultimately decided to make the call. The initial interview was a success, they deemed him “mentally” fit to be a donor and were pleased with the relationship he had established with Jay. The living donor program strongly encourages people that have an existing relationship with the recipients to come forward. Next, the initial blood tests would be conducted to determine whether this individual was a match for Jay. Then came the call, the results were in and he was not a match for Jay. Prior to the call I never thought how either one of us would take the disappointment of this man not being a match. I think this guy was more disappointed that he couldn’t help his friend, than Jay was that he wouldn’t receive a kidney from him. There were no tears on our end only a simple statement, “That’s ok, I’ll get another one”. I guess to us it just seems that simple. A friend of mine who fully understands the tribulations associated with kidney disease and transplantation used the statement “Time is just waiting for a strong one”. That is a statement I choose to believe in.
To our bucket filler: You will forever be a part of our lives despite not being able to give Jay your kidney. You are an outstanding individual and we are so thankful to have both you and your beautiful family’s support & encouragement through everything.
Today we celebrate World Kidney Day! This is the first time our family has recognized March 12th and it certainly won’t be the last. We invite each and every one of you to help spread awareness of kidney disease. As a symbolic gesture we ask everyone to drink a glass of water & share one with your friends and family.
Water may protect your kidneys, but it won’t cure Chronic kidney disease. Studies show that people who consume sodas/soft drinks/soda on a daily basis have higher risk of developing some level of CKD. Pop increases the level of protein in the urine, which is considered an early marker of kidney damage. By inviting everyone to raise a glass of water for their kidneys on World Kidney Day, we encourage everyone to make the healthy choice of drinking water instead of soft drinks.
Any of my close friends that grew up with me will remember my terrible pepsi addiction. I chose to kick this habit a few years ago in an attempt to start a healthier lifestyle, prior to Jay’s diagnosis of kidney disease. I won’t lie, I still enjoy a pepsi flavoured fountain pop every once in awhile but I’ve come along way since my Grade 9 breakfast of a pepsi and a chocolate bar. – Everything in moderation
I’ve always felt there has been this huge dark cloud hanging over Drayton Valley. I was starting to believe that’s where their AJHL team (Drayton Valley Thunder) name derived from. This community is “booming” at the moment. The oil and gas industry in this area can certainly take credit for the towns growth. From an outsiders viewpoint the most this place has to offer is dirt covered streets & lifted diesel trucks carting around a slip tank or a welding skid. A luxurious outfit around these parts usually consists of a pair of lululemon pants, generally paired with a set of high heeled boots or shoes. Guys usually throw on their shiniest white pair of DC skate shoes, a slick pair of silver jeans and some skinny white boy swag…known to the rest of the world as a sterling silver chain. Instead of people watching and strolling the downtown streets today, Pyper and I went to take advantage of something that Edson can’t offer – an indoor running/walking track. There wasn’t a soul on the track and I forgot my earbuds so I pumped tunes for 16 laps without bothering a soul. Pyper has been battling a cold and slept during my 2 mile trek. Today I was extremely thankful for the facility this town could offer me while Jay was on his run and I look forward to finding out what else this little community has to offer its habitants and visitors.
“One day, I’m just going to wake up and have a functioning kidney” – Gregory Jay Maynard – March 9, 2015.
If you know Jay then you will know that he’s more than willing to help anyone that is in need. You might also know that he can strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone that he encounters. Guys he worked with would show up without any money for coffee or cigarettes or for lunches. So he would buy those items for them. Sometimes he would give people money to pay their power bill or buy a case of beer. I’ve heard some people call him an enabler because as they saw it, Jay was helping someone that they thought didn’t “deserve” help. Some people probably believed that these same individuals were taking advantage of Jay. But he never cared what anyone thought of his actions. He never expected any of these people to pay him back. Money doesn’t hold much value with Jay and that is something I learned about him some 10 years ago. Prior to Jay being diagnosed with CKD I started thinking about how his generosity over the years would come back to serve him. Never did I expect to see such an outstanding level of support when the tables turned and Jay was in need. We have people all across our very country sending love, support & donations. How many people can say they have a country full of supporters behind them, helping them fight a disease? I just think that it’s absolutely amazing! So, I promise you all, we will pay this forward. Some day, some way, some how!
Due to multiple requests I have decided that now is as good of time as any to start blogging. There’s a lot of pressure to maintain a successful blog. Thanks to the girls on the Social for providing blogging advice and of course Cooper for giving me the final push & insight to start this. I think it is only appropriate that I dedicate my first blog to everyone that has shown support to myself & Jay over the past couple months. Your wishes, positive thoughts, kind words, prayers and donations are absolutely amazing and we are truly thankful for them all! We are surrounded by so many beautiful human beings that have made this journey a little more bearable. For those of you that don’t Jay (my partner, my teammate & father of my child) Jay has Chronic Kidney Disease which was diagnosed in early January of 2015. A lot of this blog will be related to Kidney disease, dialysis, transplantation & the renal diet. However this is still MY blog and will definitely focus on fashion, music and the odd tidbit related to parenting and/or my precious daughter. Wish me luck & thanks for reading!