Doug's 2 Kidney Kruisers
My name is Doug Rice & I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to serve as Honorary Patient Walk Chair for the Alabama Kidney Foundation, Montgomery AKF Kidney Walk. This event will be held on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at the Baptist DeBoer Building. This wonderful event raises funds that are used to serve kidney disease patients right here in Alabama. The money provides financial assistance, education & support services for kidney patients on dialysis. The Alabama Kidney Foundation also provides public education to promote organ donation awareness & prevention of kidney disease. Please read my enclosed story to understand why this event is so very dear to my heart. Please donate to my 2019 AKF Walk Team, Doug's 2 Kidney Kruisers & together we will walk & raise money!
My name is Doug Rice & I am also a cosmetologist & President of Doug's 2 Salon Spa, Inc. Over 30 years ago, I felt tired & run down & after experiencing a fainting spell, I went to see my doctor & underwent a complete physical. Lab results indicated abnormal creatinine, albumin & protein levels. Soon after, I had a kidney biopsy and was diagnosed with Focal Glomerulosclerosis, a deterioration of the kidneys that would eventually lead to kidney failure. I was immediately introduced to and followed a renal low sodium, low protein diet and monitored the disease with a 24-hour urinalysis and lab work every three months. It was a life changing experience & I believe with education I slowed my disease from progressing.
I thought somehow I had beat the odds of kidney failure which usually occurs with this disease within five to eight years after diagnosis. After years of learning healthy eating habits, following & studying diet & nutrition to enhance my health, & also learning all I could to understand my disease, I was still facing the inevitable fact that my kidneys were nearing an end. I had been given more time than what the facts printed in textbooks would support. One day while visiting my nephrologists and with only 10-15% kidney function, I was told it was time to register with the national list to seek a kidney donor. I was stunned and in total shock. It was suggested too that I ask family and friends to apply to become a possible kidney donor. My life was forever changed.
I announced to my friends & family the news about me needing a kidney transplant or facing a life of dialysis. I entertained training for home dialysis & planned on how I would manage my work schedule and still take care of my body and maintain my health. I was more than blessed when I found out I had three possible donors quickly test and get approved as a match. Of the three, my life partner, Guy Wallace, was selected as the best possible match. Surgery took place a couple of months later but hours into the procedure the transplant was aborted during surgery due to surgical complications. The kidney was lost, we both miraculously survived & we were now healing while dealing with the fact we were back at square one in our predicament.
Six months later, my second donor, a close friend & coworker, Kelly Hoots, & I entered into surgery at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta to complete our successful kidney transplant surgery. Everything went well this time & we both soon recovered & continue to share our beautiful story.
Life is very precious. We never know from day to day what's next. As I learn to live with the challenges of the lifelong medications for anti-rejection & supplemental nutritional boosters, I find each day becoming easier as I become stronger & more appreciative of this heartfelt gift granted to me, allowing me to live a normal healthy life.