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Turning Medical Hardship into an Opportunity to Help Others

By October 9, 2018No Comments

University of Washington junior Wade Washington was just 15 when he got a call that changed his life: He was going to receive a kidney transplant.

At birth, Washington had been diagnosed with bilateral cystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that caused one of his kidneys to malfunction and the other not to grow.

For the first decade or so of his life, Washington could feel the symptoms of the disease, but they were mostly manageable. He played football (wearing special padding) and performed with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra.

“But as I started high school, that’s when I really felt the effects of kidney disease,” Washington says. His doctor told him that his kidneys were at only 11 percent functionality. Anything below 15 percent is considered kidney failure.