My Story – James Urtel

Jim Urtel lives in Batavia, NY. He is Blood Type B. You can contact Jim by using the form below.​

Hello, my name is James Urtel and I am going to need a living kidney donor. In July of 2012 I was stricken with kidney failure that had come from untreated high blood pressure. The high blood pressure came from untreated sleep apnea. I was fairly young and trained racehorses at the time and always had an excuse for the signs of HBP. I had allergies and always just figured that was the cause of the headaches. I went to the ER thinking I had a lung infection but it was kidney failure causing fluid buildup. I went on dialysis and the waitlist for 8 long years and in July of 2020 I got the call for a transplant at URMC in Rochester. Unfortunately, the deceased donor kidney I received was prescreened incorrectly and it had 40-50% scar tissue in it at the time of transplant which was confirmed by a biopsy. The first year I struggled as the doctors couldn`t get the fluid off and blood pressure correct. I was basically in Stage 4 kidney disease as soon as I got the new kidney. After a few specialists were called in I got my blood pressure under control. I went online and found a great diet and exercise program which I took to and lost 50 lbs even being on the anti immune drugs that promote weight gain. My kidney has slowly digressed but I am still hanging on to enough function to stay off dialysis so far and am drastically trying to avoid that. Through all I have been through I am in pretty good shape other than the kidney trouble. I am looking into starting a youtube channel to try to help other people who may be going through some of the struggles I have had and how I have managed to get through them. I just want a true chance at a normal life again. I have managed to keep this kidney going for almost 4 years through dedication and hard work and if I could get a living donor I should be able to thrive! I want to be able to be here for my wife who has a few health issues and my parents who are getting older. If someone gives me this gift I will work as hard as I can to keep it healthy and also all I can do to help others with kidney disease get through their issues as well. I believe in beating the odds and I have done that with my racehorses and my kidney disease so far. I hope to get a donor and continue. Thank you

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