My Journey To Fight Chronic Kidney Disease

Wanted: Kidney Donor

My name is Michael Del Valle, I’m a web designer/artist residing in Naperville, IL with my family. Last year in 2021, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Unfortunately, my condition has progressed to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which means my kidneys are not functioning well enough to keep me alive. Currently, I receive dialysis treatment to sustain my life. Because I also have Type 2 Diabetes, I will need to have a kidney/pancreas transplant.

I’m looking for a living kidney donor to get me out of dialysis. Then, I can focus on getting a pancreas from a deceased donor to fight my diabetes. I’m AB+, meaning I can receive a kidney from any blood type.

My transplant center will be at Northwestern Hospital, located 35 miles away in Chicago. I’m very fortunate to have a strong circle of family members, and friends who have been with me on this journey and are ready to step in and help during and after the transplant surgery. In October, I was actively placed on the transplant list.

If interested in organ donation, please click the button below to start the initial screening:

Did you know?
More than 100,000 people in the United States
are waiting for a kidney donation
– National Kidney Foundation

Michael and Family

My Family

My End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) has been very challenging to deal with as a family. With hospital visits and dialysis treatments, in addition to my lack of employment opportunities, my wife, Ginger has to assume more family and financial responsibilities.

We have three wonderful, fun-loving kids, Grant and his twin sisters, Gabriella and Gianna. All of them are on the Autism Spectrum. Despite these obstacles, we try to provide a normal and positive environment for our kids as we search for a living kidney donor to sustain my life.

Did you know?
3 to 5 years is the average waiting time for a kidney
from a deceased donor.
– National Kidney Foundation

Become A Living Donor

Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:

  • You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
  • Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
  • The recuperation period is usually relatively quick, generally two weeks.
  • The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance.
  • You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.

Did you know?
5,971 people received a living-donor kidney in 2021
– National Kidney Foundation

“40” Self-Portrait
Mixed-media – 2010

About My Art

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can
– Frida Khalo

My art has provided a creative outlet for me to convey my thoughts and feelings as I continue my journey in fighting against CKD.

Dialysis – 071122 (Here Comes The Sun)
Digital Illustration – 2022

July 11, 2022, was my first day of hemodialysis. I go to the dialysis center three times a week. Each treatment lasts about hours. To access the blood for hemodialysis, two needle sticks are placed in the vascular access. One needle is in the arterial side, which carries blood away from the heart and into the dialyzer, while the other needle is in the venous side which returns the filtered blood back into the body toward the heart. The Sunflower represents vitality, faith, and happiness. It brings a smile to my face and strengthens me.

(Oceans – Where Feet May Fail)
Digital Illustration – 2022

Swelling over the ankles, feet or legs: One will start to notice edema at these sites with “pits” when applying pressure. As the kidney function begins to fail, there is sodium retention which causes swelling in your shin and ankles. This was the case for me prior to my first stay at the hospital last year in June.

The song, Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong UNITED brings me comfort and speaks to my faith, especially as I continue on this fight.

“You call me out upon the waters The great unknown where feet may fail And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep my faith will stand”
– Hillsong UNITED

The Sunflower vs The Dragon
(My Fight With CKD Continues!)

Digital Illustration – 2022

Battle Scars

Leg muscle cramps, blood clotting, low blood pressure, new fistulas, catheters. These are things that I have to deal with when going through hemodialysis. My fight with CKD continues.

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