Craig is a former NxStage patient who was successfully transplanted in April 2011. He still endorses his story here.
Craig was just 13-years-old when a routine physical required for a hiking trip with his Boy Scout troop revealed he had decreased kidney function. By the time he was 19, his kidneys were failing, requiring him to go on dialysis. For several months, Craig went to a center three times a week for three or four hours at a time for dialysis treatments. In 1987 he was able to receive a kidney transplant that lasted five years. When it failed, he went back to in-center dialysis treatments, though he briefly attempted peritoneal dialysis as an option (it was not an adequate treatment for him).
He remained on in-center dialysis for the next five years, an experience that he says he "hated." In addition to feeling ill and fatigued almost constantly, he says the environment at the center was depressing and constricting. "You have to operate on the center's schedule. Your time is not your own," he says.
One day during a routine center visit, Craig met someone giving out information about a new portable dialysis therapy called the NxStage System One, which would not only enable him to do his treatments at home but also do so on a more frequent basis, a routine that more closely reflected a healthy, functioning kidney. Craig immediately knew the treatment option was for him and was eager to start training as soon as possible. "I bugged my doctor for a year, incessantly, until it was available!" he says. In December 2003, he started training on NxStage.
Throughout the seven years Craig was on daily, more frequent home hemodialysis, prior to his transplant, he reported that daily, more frequent home hemodialysis with NxStage dramatically improved his life. In addition to feeling better and having more energy, he felt more in control of his own health. With the freedom he had from using NxStage, he was able to return to work part-time for a homeless shelter, exercise more often and travel. The ease of traveling that came with portable dialysis was one of the most important benefits for Craig, and he traveled all over the country to places including Washington, D.C., Lake Tahoe, Monterrey, N.M., and the Sierra Foothills for camping trips. He had more quality time to spend with friends and family, and during his time on daily, more frequent home hemodialysis, Craig married his sweetheart, Sherrie. The couple spent their honeymoon in Disneyland and brought NxStage along.
In addition to improving his quality of life and health, Craig says NxStage also changed his outlook on the future. Craig says, "NxStage helped me feel more confident and optimistic about the years to come!"