Seventeen years with kidney disease

Today, 14th of July, marks completion of seventeen years of life with kidney disease! 14th of July, 1997 was the day when I took those vaccines that triggered my Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome which, as I would find out later, was due to a genetic mutation in my body called the CFH/CFHR1 hybrid gene.

It's been by no means, a peaceful journey. The shock of the initial diagnosis (I had never heard the word 'dialysis' in my life before, a word that would come to define who I am, something I would need to live with for a long, long time), the transplant, PD, the tsunami, the struggle to be able to continue PD, home hemo, I really have 'been there, done that' where kidney disease is concerned.

I was only 21 when I was diagnosed. I K Gujral was the Prime Minister. The Sensex was around 4,200. The Rupee was around 35 to a dollar. That was a long time back indeed!

Now, as I enter my eighteenth year, I see some signs of fatigue in my body. The neuropathy is getting worse. The low grade bone pain won't go away despite my blood tests being fairly good.

I need to make sure that my mind remains as strong as ever.

Looking at the positive side of things, who would have thought I would be making a career out of this? Today, I am a Co-Founder and Director in India's largest dialysis provider company! That is not a small thing. When I go to doctors of other specialties, the question invariably veers to what I am doing. When I mention NephroPlus, they are all amazed. The conversation moves from my problem to the NephroPlus story and I almost have to pull them back to what I have gone there for!

I need to thank my co-founders, Vikram and Sandeep for this. Without their initiative, hard work and constant support, it would really have not been possible.

My parents and family have also been such tremendous support. Kidney disease is really too hard to deal with without the support of your family. I have been really lucky in this aspect.

Looking forward, I intend to carry on for many more years, dealing with my problems with fortitude and cheer. Many people praise me for my attitude. Honestly, for me, this is not something that I do consciously. It is not like I tell myself that I need to deal with this problem in such a way. I get unnecessary credit for this. It is just something that I do because I feel better that way. Its really that simple.


Happy 17th anniversary. Even if the attitude is groomed every morning, it has the right amount of humility and knowledge that life has brought you thus far. That cheer will sail with you till the world ends as it is the perfect style. God bless you for your effort to remain stable and wonderful as you are.
Anonymous said…
God Bless you, Kamal !! You are an inspiration for many.

May you have a very happy & prosperous life ahead.

Anonymous said…
You have no idea how big an inspiration you are to people. I pray that you have a long, easy life. Maybe another transplant in future! Best wishes to you.
ayman said…
wishing you happy and long life

ayman said…
How to ncrease dialysate flow rates in Fresenius 4008B ?
thanks in advance
Kamal D Shah said…
Ayman, please send me an email and we can discuss offline. Thanks!
ayman said…
I don't know your E-mail
but mine is
webmayestro (at) yahoo (dot) com
Unknown said…
Hi Kamal,
I appreciate ur attitude for life.17yrs is definitely not a joke.just for 3 years i am so bugged...u r a true inspiration for all of us.have stable & easy life ahead.