The Kidney TRUST

Down But Definitely Not Out

An Arizona Family Copes with Dialysis

Kidney disease can hit a family hard.  Dave and Diane Keiser of Scottsdale, Arizona have a harrowing tale to tell about how kidney disease can strike without warning.

“Last June, after several weeks of fighting what we thought was the flu, my 41-year-old husband Dave was rushed to the hospital,” says Diane Keiser.  “He was in end stage kidney failure, and almost died that day. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and after 11 days in the hospital, started dialysis three days a week.”

Dave Keiser

Ironically, Dave had been tested for polycystic kidney disease when seven years old and told that he would never get it.  Dave was unemployed and did not have health insurance at the time his kidneys failed and it was only with the help of family and friends (and much negotiating with the hospital) that the family was able to stay afloat.  “Talk about having the rug pulled out from under you,” says Diane.

Dave eventually got insurance coverage under Diane’s health plan and he has been doing very well on dialysis.  Dave emphasizes, “I just try to stay positive.  I watch my diet and stay on top of my labs.  I can see the difference in my health when I do things right.”

“Actually, Dave follows his renal diet like a fiend and works out five days a week,” according to Diane.  “People look at him and tell me he looks fantastic, and not sick at all.  But dialysis is not a walk in the park and we are praying for a transplant.”

“I’m not a very patient person,” says Dave.  “I can’t wait to get back to work.  But in the meantime it helps to be doing what I can.”

Dave’s sister is a blood match, so there is the possibility that she could provide a kidney at some point in the future.

Dave has been struck by how many people are affected by kidney disease.  “Once I got sick I found that everyone knows someone with kidney disease,” he relates.  “People don’t realize how widespread it is.”

Dave and Diane naturally have concerns about the future, but they keep a positive focus.  Diane sums it up by saying, “Kidney disease has slowed us down, but it has not beat us, and it never will.”