COLORADO SPRINGS – This Sunday morning September 30th at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, the National Kidney Foundation will hold their annual Kidney Walk.
As in year’s past Manny Salazar will be there. This time he is there with a new kidney, after having a transplant almost 3 weeks ago.
Manny tells me he was health and active his entire life, until he began training for a Marathon in 2008. “I had no idea what this was, I have been healthy my entire life. All the sudden I noticed I had a severe case of edema everywhere on my body.”
After trying to push through for a while, he decided it was time to get check out. He went to UCHealth Memorial Central in Colorado Springs, where he learned his kidneys were beginning to fail.
Manny says his kidney disease was able to managed by medication and diet, until 2014 when he reached the point where dialysis was needed. Over the next three and half years, 3 times a week, for 3-4 hours at a time Manny had to be at a dialysis center.
Manny recalls, “It is time consuming and mentally it takes a lot out of a lot of people. I have always been headstrong you know, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Then finally, he got the phone call he had been waiting for from his transplant coordinator. “I said ‘Tracy, if you’re calling me you better have some good news for me’. She said, ‘Actually I have the best news for you.”
It wasn’t just a new kidney, but a kidney from a live donor. “The next day they called me for my appointments, so that was an exciting feeling. My support has been on Facebook so I told everyone there when I got the news, it was overwhelming.”
His transplant happened on September 11th, 2018. As a Marine and proud service member the day now has a duel special meaning for Manny. “Before it (9-11) was the day that changed the world, now it’s the day that changed my life.”
You can come join Manny and many others at Memorial Park this Sunday for this year’s Kidney Walk. The walk begins at 10 am.