Donor Information

Long story, short…

Salutations, I bring my best wishes to you,

I have been asked to write a blog; a year ago I didn’t know what a blog was. However, I am computer savvy especially, in Word and Power Point. I wish I had started and learned on a Mac but I do love my PC. I’m just happy to be apart of the computer revolution. When you think about it, our country is only 229 years old; it is amazing to me all that has been accomplished in such a short period of time. The invention and creation of so much by brilliant people has always fascinated me. You can start as far back as 386-BC and the teachings of the Greek philosopher Plato on the subject of Social Life and Justice.

Of course the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries gave us the biggest push towards an advanced world. Today it’s the mathematicians, the scientists, humanitarians, and the few who tinker with what comes to mind, these are the people responsible for making us all flourish and thrive.

I probably think too much about what makes us happy or miserable, however, it’s interesting to me the whys and wherefores life has to offer. It’s especially important to me because life has slipped dangerously away from me on more then one occasion.

It would take a book to explain my life story, (It’s in the works), however, in this short Blog; let me just share with you the medical aspects of my life. After all, I am seeking a kidney to sustain my life and my health issues have been prevalent going back as far as age six.

In those early years in Eureka Illinois, I suffered horribly from asthma and hay fever, not being able catch your breath is a terrifying experience for a young child. In the early 1950s, a pharmaceutical product administered with an atomizer became available, it open up the lungs for easer breathing. It was called Solution B, the only problem was, the atomizer was made of glass and a six year old kid was bound to break them quit often. With that little gizmo, I made it though my elementary years. By my freshman year at Carl Sandberg High School in Orland Park, Illinois just South of Chicago, I was over my asthmatic problems and feeling pretty good.

High school was a physical cake walk, no problems. I was a little short of breath, it was left over from my early years but I still played football, ran track in the 100 yard dash and wrestled. All went well in high school. It was during this time I found the profession course my life would be taking.

Outside of high school in a small teen club near Chicago, I meet up with people who were as excited as I was about Rock & Roll and Blues music, my career would begin from there. I can’t take the time to give you all the details of my life’s work; I can tell you it has been an amazing journey.

President of an advertising agency, radio and TV producer / writer, announcer of thousands of commercials in the major Chicago market, creator for radio the signature phase Sunday-Sunday-Sunday, host of the national TV show, “The Super Chargers”, aired in 120 markets, it was all about fast cars and super stars shot in Hollywood over a twelve year period , promoter of automobile speedway events, announcer at the Indianapolis 500, WOW there you have it, a career that was extraordinary to say the least.

Most men have one profession in life; I had many, however not always without some pain or suffering. In 1990 I knew I had genetic Polycystic Kidney Disease and was just waiting for the day it would become a real problem. In the mean time, I became part of a stock car short track racing team; it included a couple of notables, the President of McDonalds, Ed Rensi and Jimmy Rietz a computer genius. In late 1992 the serious health issues started to raise their ugly heads. I was getting occasional angina, my Cardiologists prognosis was to open my chest and unclog four important arteries. At the same time I was starting on Peritoneal Dialysis to clean my blood daily and keep me alive.

In early 1993 they opened my chest up and completed four-way pass surgery. It took several weeks to convalesce; during all this all the time I was self dialyzing, waiting on a transplant from the Kidney Donor List. I was always exhausted but did what I had too.

Then in late 1993 a matching cadaver kidney became available, I was about to have my second major surgery in the same year. It all went well, I recovered nicely, life continued on with never a thought of my heart or kidney, everything was working fine. I was fifty three years of age, and still in my prime. My advertising clients came and went business was good.

Twelve years passed, then; bad news; my kidney was failing. I soon went on Hemo Dialysis which I’m still on today. I continue to wait month after month and pray for a live donor.

In 2005, as I lost my kidney, a new problem began to occur; I noticed it was becoming more difficult to walk, fortunately I hadn’t smoked since my twenty’s, so my breathing was just fine. As the months rolled by and I continued my work in advertising, my legs continued to weaken. My nephrologist sent me to a back specialist, who looked at my MIR and determined I need back surgery at the L-5 spine level. When I met with the surgeon he emphatically said no, I was not ready for the surgery, I evidently was not in enough pain and maybe just maybe, my deteriorating legs were not caused by a back problem. He was going to be correct.

A few months later I was at a point in time were walking was all most impossible. My doctor sent me in for a battery of tests at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois. The test revealed I had “Peripheral Artery Disease”. Unfortunately, I was late in the discovery of this deadly disease that constricts the blood vessels in your legs. Artery Intervention was performed to save the legs, it failed.

I made plans for the inevitable; I went into full retirement and into Good Samaritan Hospital. My right leg was removed to six inches above the knee; the left leg was amputated to eight inches below the knee. I was in that hospital for almost a year. It took another year to recover to the point were I can now drive a car by my self and work short hours on my computer. I am on dialysis three days a week for four hours. Most of the time I feel pretty good but always a little tried from dialysis. Unfortunately, all the kidney transplant list has to offer is cadaver kidneys, because I have already had one kidney I need a live donor, I hope to find one soon or my health will continue to deteriorate.

My sprit is high, my faith in humanity even higher. I thank you for sharing my life story and lets hope I can continue life with a kidney from someone who is willing to share there life with me.

Jan C. Gabriel

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