Remembering Michael

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Sadly, my story has a sad ending. My spouse and the love of my life, Michael, died waiting for a kidney.

Why? Because of a lack of education from others on this devastating disease and the potential of living

kidney donors. I could not donate because I had cancer and I was not compatible.

Michael was diagnosed in the fall of 2015 and he died on March 15, 2017. Yes, it was that quick. Michael

was on peritoneal dialysis for only eight months. It was difficult for us both because for the last two and

a half years of his life, I become his caregiver. He was a great artist, he did motor cross, scuba diving, and

cycling and all of that died with him when he was diagnosed. For Michael, it was a death sentence.

The day he died, the day of a snow storm, he went peacefully. There is not one day since he’s died that I

don’t cry as there is always something that makes me think of him. I was with him for forty-six years.

The day he died, I died with him.

It always struck me though that he always said to the doctors, look if there is a young person who comes

in and needs a kidney, give it to them. He was warm and charitable, always giving back and always

thinking about someone else’s needs. He really was that guy. I think we need to tell more people with

diabetes that it will affect, it will kill, your kidneys. That’s why I’m sharing this story. Because I want

people to know it’s not always a happy ending and it was not a happy ending for my life. This is not how

I thought we were going to spend our golden years.

I also want people to know, Michael was an artist and he always did for everyone else.

Michael was compassionate and hopeful, and he was always looking into the latest research. It’s

important to look to the future, you need those advocates to really get talking about kidney research,

about diabetes, organ donation, and living kidney donation.

Dani Gagnon