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My Story

Well, my name is Larry and I am 49 years old, I am originally from New York City where I lived for 30 years.  I got married to my wife Lori in Oct. 1988 and we moved to Florida in 1989 & we have no plans of moving back to live in NY. We lived in Orlando, FL for 10 years. At that time I was managing a Target store in Orlando. I last worked for Target in 1992, which ended up being my last job that I have had. I left work because my health started to go downhill.
We moved to South Florida in 1999 and lived there for 8 years, In 2007 we moved back to the Orlando area where we are currently residing. Now, here is my story.....

Since the age of 17, I got diabetes & the diabetes was starting to cause other problems. First, it started affecting my eyes. My vision slowly deteriorated over time, despite about a dozen different types of surgeries. Within a year,  I had become legally blind. I still am legally blind, but I have sort of adjusted to it. The only thing I am really unable to do is drive. I basically can see clear to about 20 to 30 feet but beyond that it is blurry.
That same year (1992), I also developed kidney failure & after staying on a strict renal diet for 3 years to prolong the need for dialysis, in January, 1995, I went on dialysis & my health really went downhill from there. At many times during that period of dialysis I had to be hospitalized for different reasons, & a few times I nearly died.
I then started looking into a kidney transplant, but a few days after I decided to do this I read about a new transplant they were performing in Miami. They were performing Kidney/Pancreas Transplants, so in April, 1995 I went to Miami & the next month I was put on a list for the double transplant. On July 23, 1995 I had the transplant & it went great!
After more than 8 years, I am still doing pretty good! No more dialysis, no more diabetes, no longer taking any insulin injections & I am on no type of diabetic diet at all. I am basically feeling almost NORMAL (but then again, what is normal?).
My only real problems after my transplant were my eyes, 

In October , 2001 I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis, which was caused by the steroids I have had to take for the past 6 years for the transplant, but I really can't complain.

In Sept, 2003,  I developed some new problems, such as high blood pressure and anemia, and that time I did not know the cause of these problems.  I started seeing a Hematologist a few months after and found out it was my kidneys that was causing my anemia.

In May, 2004 I had a rejection of my kidney.  I was admitted to the hospital and was given high doses of steroids for several days and it seemed to had turned things around.  My numbers went back to normal levels.

Then in August, 2004, while on vacation, I started feeling quite ill, and when I got home I called my transplant center and they had me admitted to the hospital.  My kidney was rejecting again, but this time they could not save it.  After a few days I was back on dialysis.

I was back on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List in Miami on Dec 17, 2004 and they say the waiting time can be anywhere from 6 months to 3 years.  In September, 2006, after getting impatient waiting for over 2 years on the list at Miami, I got on the waiting list at Florida Hospital in Orlando and I also   transferred the time that I spent on the  waiting list in Miami over to the waiting list in  Orlando.  A few weeks later I got "the call" that a kidney became available and I was the proud recipient of my second kidney!!

After a few complications I am doing better now.  It was not the perfect kidney but I am still so very grateful!  As long there is no need for dialysis I consider it all a success, even though it was a rough ride to get where I am today. However, after the second transplant, for some unknown reasons, I became a Type II diabetic even though my transplanted pancreas is still producing insulin and working fine. In August 2007, I had a lens exchange surgery done to try to correct my vision problems.  At the beginning everything was fine but after seeing my ophthalmologist a few months after the surgery he told me that my cornea was damaged and there was nothing that could be done except to use eye drops and ointment on a daily basis.  I did this for several months. 

By July, 2008, I became very frustrated and decided to see a corneal specialist.  He recommended I have a corneal transplant.  Three weeks later, on August 4, 2008, I had this transplant. So far, after three weeks the healing process is going well and so far it seems to be successful.  It could take anywhere from 6 months to a year to see full improvement.  Only time will tell.

In July, 2009 my 2nd Kidney Transplant rejected and I was back on dialysis once again.

After several serious health problems, I finally was placed on the Kidney Transplant list in May, 2011 at the University of Florida and on July 27, 2011 I got the call and I received my 3rd Kidney Transplant!!  As of July, 2012, the kidney is still working great!!

What do I like to do for fun? Right now I am still kind of stranded at home because I can't drive.  I do try & get out everyday & take several walks. Before my illness, my wife & I loved to travel. We  would go on vacations whenever we got the chance. We usually vacationed 3 weeks a year. We visited many places, like the Gulf Coast & the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. I love the beach & the mountains. I love all sports. When I was healthy I basically participated in all sports, from baseball to football to white-water rafting & so on.

My wife, Lori, is a resort manager at a timeshare resort & she works very hard & long hours.
Someday I hope to have that successful business at home & make enough money so she doesn't have to go to work anymore.

Please click below if you would like to get in touch with me via email. I would love to hear from you whether you are looking to get a transplant, have had a transplant, want more information about the transplant, or for any other reason you might have.

I do look forward to hearing from you or speaking to you online

Good health to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!