Like others in his family, Joe, 50, was born with Alport syndrome, a disease that causes kidney failure and other health issues. One of Joe's brothers spent much of his life on dialysis and another died of kidney disease. For years, Joe was in denial that he had the disease, ignoring symptoms like severe cramping and instead sticking to his passion of playing ice hockey. Joe became accustomed to coming home from work, closing all the curtains and feeling sick.
Joe finally went to the doctor when he was 27 and had to go on dialysis. He spent several years on in-center dialysis until he received a kidney transplant in 1995. Unfortunately, his transplant eventually failed, and Joe had to return to three-times-weekly dialysis. At this time, Joe felt depressed about the prospect of staying on in-center therapy.
Joe's wife, tired of seeing him so ill, had been doing research on dialysis therapies and discovered there may be a new possibility for him with the NxStage System One, a portable hemodialysis system that can be used in the home setting or while traveling. The two of them trained on the therapy, and they now do dialysis at home at 5:00 a.m. before his three children go off to school. Joe not only feels better physically but is also more self-sufficient because he is taking control of his health and treatments. Also, by being able to do dialysis at home with NxStage, he doesn't have to worry about getting to and from a center for his treatments.
Joe would like to travel the country at some point with his System One, but for now he appreciates being able to do all of his hockey activities - playing, refereeing games, and teaching private lessons. He is a big advocate for the therapy, hoping to spread the word and "slap shot NxStage around the world!"