How to Make Life “Normal” for a Transplant Recipient

By Abigail Collett - Mom to Recipient

You may not know what tomorrow brings for you or your child. You may not know how life will ever be "normal" again. You may feel alone. You now have a child with End Stage Renal Disease.…

You may be holding back tears as your heart hurts for your child's future...I know I have. Even now those tears are never far from the surface. Lean in closer friend, I have learned a secret that I want to share with you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

I know that you did not choose kidney disease for your child. The acronym ESRD seems unreal and too big to even wrap your head around. The phrases you're learning, the responsibilities that you're now carrying do not fit with the life that you had pictured for your family. It might be hard to find time for the friends that you used to enjoy so much. It takes so much effort to make small talk when your heart is focused on such big things. Your life is now spent focusing on your child and how best to keep them alive. How to keep your whole family alive. You suddenly speak a different language. A language of medical terms and difficult conversations. This is not a language you chose to learn, you stepped up to the plate because your child's life depended on it.

I want you to know that you can do this! You can learn this language. You are not alone and you fit in here.

There is an entire team of doctors, nurses, transplant coordinators, hospital staff, and parents that are investing their lives in you and your family and most importantly your child's future. We are IROC and I am so glad you found us!

IROC stands for Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative. Children's hospitals around the united states are choosing to go above and beyond by joining IROC to find solutions that will improve the life of your child and their kidney transplant. IROC is establishing a network of professionals and parents who are focused on researching, developing, and implementing the best medical practices for kids with ESRD and kidney transplant. It is our hope that these improvements will improve the lives of all children, especially yours. We want your child to have the greatest possible success with their kidney and with the rest of their life.

Is your child's medical center an IROC center? Why don't you ask your team today. More information can be found on line at

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