3-time kidney transplant survivor pushes organ donation
The survivor of three failed kidney transplants is urging everyone to sign their organ donor card on World Kidney Day.
Every night, LaSalle's Brian Bacon lugs three pillow-sized bags of solution upstairs and attaches them to his dialysis machine.
Bacon was born with underdeveloped kidneys. His parents and doctors began noticing problems when Bacon was a year old.
He went on dialysis in 1989 and underwent his first kidney transplant in 1990. It failed after six months. In 1991, his father donated a kidney to Bacon. It lasted until 2000. His third transplant came in 2006. It failed when his anti-rejection drugs caused brain cancer.
"They got rid of the cancer by lowering the medication but that ended up ultimately costing me my kidney. So now I'm back on dialysis," Bacon said. "Being sat down and told, 'no we're not going to give you another transplant,' was a tough pill to swallow."
He called the news "devastating."
Bacon still leads an otherwise normal life. He has a full-time job and travels with a portable dialysis machine.
"It's not the end of the world, but it's not a life I'd wish upon anybody."
The biggest change came at home, where his parents moved out of their master bedroom with en-suite and Bacon moved in.
"When he's hooked up to his machine, if he has to go to the bathroom it's more convenient, instead of unhooking, just to be able to hop out of bed and into the bathroom, so we've moved downstairs," said his mother Mary Beth.
Bacon said he enjoys every day of his life and that he remains focused on the future, the health of others and the advancements in artificial kidneys.
Bacon encourages people to take care of their kidneys, monitor their blood pressure, treat diabetes and become an organ donor.