By: Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

MICHELLE: This is Slider, Slider's a chocolate lab, he's 10 years old and he used to be a performance dog. He did a lot of agility and obedience. Basically I got a dog when I was about eight years old, and I got involved in the 4H program with dogs, and I had a 4H advisor who started taking me to dog shows. I thought I had the flu, actually.

And they think that's what started it to begin with. But I was sick for awhile and went to the doctor and I ended up in the hospital. Over a blood test they found out that my creatin was quite high and that my kidneys were failing.

Totally unexpected for me, usually a very healthy person, never get sick -- not cold, flu, anything, I never got sick. The kidney disease had been progressing over a few years, and so I was probably about 13, 14 years of age, but we had no idea. It's so slow, as far as a progression. And it doesn't show up until it's too late.

I went to Ohio State and found out that I had medullary cystic disease and that I basically needed a kidney transplant. And I had to be on dialysis for a while until they could find a donor. Um, I was shocked, but I looked at it that things could be worse. And that's basically how I look at life.


Well basically, when I got the phone call, I really was a little bit of excitement but then at the same time, then here you have this family that lost a family member. So it kind of goes both ways. I mean you feel bad for a family that lost a loved one, but then at the same time then you're getting another chance to go back to a normal life. And, you know, there are a lot of people out there that are much worse off than I am as far as their health, and I'm just very grateful that I'm still here and I'm able to just live an active life.