Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Yes Indeed!  Miracles happen every day.  Today it is because I have finally had a moment to update the blog!  Wow!  What a wild ride it has been.  I can't believe it has been over six months.  A lot has happened on our kidney journey/roller coaster!

Rick has had a few ups and downs over the past several months.  I think they twisted him in knots during the surgery because he has had endless hip/sciatic pain ever since the surgery.  It got so bad that he could n't move for several days and we had to call an ambulance to come help us get him up.  He was sent back down to the University hospital and finally after about a week, he was able to move.

Ricks kidneys ended up being around 12"X6"X6".  A normal kidney is about the size of a fist.  A normal kidney weighs about 130 grams.  Ricks weighed 1,750 grams. He pretty much gave birth to twins. :) The summer months were very hard on him.  He had no appetite and was losing weight very rapidly.  It took quite a while to get his dialysis figured out to where he wasn't vomiting every day.  His blood pressure would drop drastically and he would faint and fall frequently.  That got a little frightening.  He scared the ladies at the bank pretty good one day.  Some days his spark disappeared.  He was one sick man. I was pretty worried about him. 

We had to go to dialysis school to learn how to do dialysis at home.
We gained a family member.  I call her Gertie.  Well, Gertie gets a little
grouchy sometimes.  Her alarms go off pretty frequently.  If I didn't appreciate her life saving measures, I might would kick her out. The nurses at the Kolff Home Dialysis Center are amazing and we have really grown to love and appreciate them.  Dialysis has been interesting, challenging, but doable.  Not anything you want to do, but it is lifesaving.  It is amazing to me that someone could be so brilliant to figure it all out.

The masking up, the three minute hand washes, the seclusion from family and pets, the stacks of supplies, and all the bells and whistles going off are worth it as Rick has become a pro.  He did have a case of peritonitis.  Just FYI...if you ever have to do Peritoneal Dialysis....Ban scissors like they banned spinning wheels for Sleeping Beauty.
 A cut catheter is a problem.

I see a little silhouetto of a Man
 every night.  
He doesn't complain much.  He just takes the task and carries on.  

So now that you have had a small glimpse into the changes that have occurred in Rick's life. I can now tell you we are way more sympathetic to those who have kidney failure and have to do dialysis.  We feel for those in pain and suffering from kidney disease or any other disease for that matter.  I can't tell you it hasn't been a challenge, but I can tell you, we would do it over again.  The blessings we have received and the love we have felt from everyone around us and our Heavenly Father has made this difficult journey a beautiful experience. People have prayed for us, fasted for us, and served us.  We have felt those prayers and had immediate blessings after the fasting.  Thank you.


Excerpt from Rick's Journal Entry
October 26, 2017

"A stranger came to my door tonight.  He was looking for Marla, but she was gone.  He asked if I knew who he was, and I said his face looked familiar, but I had no clue, he'd have to tell me his name.  I immediately recognized the name.  He was a friend of Marla's and knew of my situation.  He said he was a match and had a kidney for me.  I felt like I was looking at the Savior standing in my doorway."


We have an amazing gift being given to us right before Christmas.  Two days to be exact.  December 21, 2017.  Our hearts are so full.  There are no words to describe the love and gratitude we have for our donor.  The experience is overwhelming and very surreal.  I kinda get weepy a lot. I can not describe the special feeling our family has had throughout the hard times and now during this miraculous time.  You hear of things like this happening to other people.  How fortunate we are to be so blessed. My love for my Heavenly Father has grown so much this year.  My love for my spouse has grown immensely as I have seen him struggle and pick himself up and carry on. I am truly grateful to my dear friend who is so graciously willing to help us. When he asked me several moths ago for the information to be tested he told me "It's just what we are supposed to do!"  If more people could be like him, our world would be a more beautiful place.  It makes me want to be more kind, more giving, more gracious, more loving, and more forgiving. Truly I hope we can all try to be more generous and kind.  It may not require you to give up your spare parts.  It may be that little smile or hello to someone who is having a bad day.  It may be letting hard feelings leave your heart and visiting someone who has wronged you.  It may be sharing joy with those who are less fortunate. Just Love One Another.  Let us change the world one random act of kindness at a time.


Friday, June 2, 2017


We are one week post surgery and what a wild week it has been.  Rick is a miracle man.  He has endured so much, but has such a positive attitude. We have felt the love of everyone on our behalf.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

 Rick was fortunate to have the love of our children and grandchildren visiting him at the hospital.  Brynlee felt so sad for her Grandpa and asked me what she could do to make him feel better.  I told her she could hold his hand for a while.  It was so precious.  She held his hand for nearly an hour.  She drew him pictures and wrote "Grandpa...you are my hero".  The other little girls were so concerned as well.  It was frightening to see him with tubes and everything.  They made cheerful posters that all the nurses just loved. Such sweet blessings in our life.

We don't have the pathology report back yet, so we don't have the weight and size of the kidneys.  But they were big and completely loaded with cysts.  They removed the gall bladder which was at least double the size of a normal gall bladder, the appendix and lanced several large cysts in the liver. I'm sorry to those that are squeamish...but I am about to post the graphics.  In the picture of the kidneys, there is a large cyst on the right kidney.  That cyst is the size of a normal kidney.

Here are a few more photos of his surgery journey so far:


After the twins were born....ha ha

 The incision is quite large.  The bandaged area is where they placed a catheter to be able to do Peritoneal Dialysis at home after it heals.

Dialysis has been a challenge for Rick.  It pretty much wipes him out and he is really weak afterwards. He is looking forward to the Peritoneal Dialysis as it is a little more gentle than Hemo dialysis. It is amazing to me how someone could figure out the whole process.  Truly miraculous.

It is good to have him home from the hospital.  There is just something about the comforts of home that can be healing.  We are surrounded by so many kind and loving people.  We thank each and every one of you for your service to our family, the prayers, fasting, and support given to us.  Rick still has a big journey ahead of him.  He will need clearance again from his neurosurgeon after he has a scan to be sure his old aneurysms are stable and that no new aneurysms have formed.  Once he receives that clearance, he will be reinstated on the donor list and can have a transplant when a kidney comes available.

We would be glad for your continued prayers and love on our behalf. We truly have felt the power of prayer in this adventure.  Your kind words of encouragement have helped us more than you can ever realize. You guys are the best!!!  We love you all!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Rick definitely has a good team behind him.  He is loved by his family and friends.  Nerves are a little on the edge right now as we start a new chapter in our fight against PolyCystic Kidney disease. Tomorrow, Rick will have the line put in for dialysis.  Thursday, he will have both kidneys removed along with the gall bladder and appendix.  They will also lance large cysts in his liver. His surgery will take place at the University of Utah Hospital.  We feel confident in their expertise.  They have saved his life numerous times.  We are also very grateful for an amazing Nephrologist Josephine Abraham.  She has become more than a doctor to us.  She is also our friend. 

Besides the nervousness, there is a sense of peace surrounding us.  I know it is from the prayers and fasting of our friends and family.  Our Heavenly Father is right there for us. I am feeling so grateful.  Our lives are blessed over and over.  Even through challenges, we feel the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.   We are definitely not alone.

So I got the hard things out of the way first.  We are having a contest.  With PolyCystic Kidney disease the kidneys get very enlarged with cysts.  If you want to guess the dimensions of Rick's Kidneys and how much they weigh, you just might be the winner of some amazing prize like kidney beans or something. :) (Probably something better than kidney beans.)

But really...take a good guess...Here are some valuable statistics to consider: 

1.  Rick weighs approximately 177 pounds.
2.  Rick weighed approximately 145-150 when we got married.
3.  Some PKD kidneys are as large or larger than a football.

Watch for my post on Facebook and submit your guess.  We might as well make the most of our experience.

Thank you again for your kind thoughts, prayers, fasting, and words of encouragement.  How fortunate we are to have so many loving people in our lives.  We love you!

Friday, May 5, 2017


 Rick will undergo surgery in a couple of weeks to have both kidneys removed.  We should know Monday, May 8, 2017 what day it will be.  He is currently at 8% kidney function and the kidneys have grown so large with cysts that they need to be removed.  He was placed on hold on the transplant list in February.  He will hopefully be reinstated after the surgery.  What does this mean for Rick?  Well, major surgery of course and then dialysis.  He plans on being able to do the Peritoneal Dialysis, which can be done at home at night while he sleeps. Until he heals from the surgery, he will be on regular Hemodialysis for a few weeks.

 We get to have rigorous training on how to be sanitary, take vitals, watch for infection, and use the dialysis equipment. Sure hope these old dogs can learn new tricks. So sometimes I'm pretty nieve and don't understand the body's functions, but this old dog learned that once you are on dialysis, you no longer pee. (Sorry if I offend anyone) Just kind of  a weird thought.

Life is changing in the Young household, but a good friend told me on facebook "Dialysis is not life ending it is life saving!"  I appreciate this bit of wisdom and positive attitude.   We have already felt your love and concerns on our behalf.  Thank you for your prayers and fasting.  We certainly will take more of them too.

I don't get super mushy or personal in most conversations but just might in this one.  The last few weeks have given me a lot to contemplate and worry about and I find myself thinking about the What Ifs????  It has also given me time to remember the blessings I have received from having this man in my life.  He is so extremely patient.  He loves me with his whole heart, even when I am not so nice.  He loves his children and has been a great example and Father to them.  He loves those beautiful Granddaughters.  He loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He has touched so many lives.  It was made evident to me last night at a graduation of some very special people to him.  He is a great teacher.  He never boasts or brags. He dwells on the positive rather than the negative.  He is extremely smart and is always willing to share that knowledge to help others learn.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Thank you again for your kind thoughts and prayers on our behalf.  We feel the warmth and comfort of your well wishes along with the gentle love of our Savior and Heavenly Father.  I will try to keep you updated with Rick's surgery and progress.  Let's find this man a kidney #teamricosuavay #teamrick #teamgrandparick

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


As the month of March is Kidney Awareness Month, I thought I should give a little update on our kidney adventures.I wish I could say we have had a miracle and someone is giving Rick a kidney, but that is not the case.  In fact, Rick has been placed on hold on the transplant list.  He is not currently eligible to receive a deceased donor kidney at the present time.  His kidneys have grown too large with cysts that there is not enough room to place a new kidney.  Until he has a Nephrectomy (The removal of his kidneys) he won't be considered for a deceased donor kidney.  We can still look for a live donor and he could  go on dialysis and have the kidneys removed a few days prior to receiving the donor kidney.  The other option is to go on dialysis, have the kidneys removed and be reactivated on the list to receive a deceased donor kidney if a match comes available.

I may gross a few of you out (I apologize in advance) but this may explain what a polycystic kidney looks like comparative to a healthy kidney.  Some polycystic kidney patients have kidneys the size of footballs. Crazy huh!

Please keep Rick in your prayers, no matter what decision is made, it will be difficult for him. The thought of dialysis is extremely frightening for him.  The quality of life that we have come to enjoy will certainly be interrupted.  He is scheduled again for scans which include dye at the end of the month.  He is currently at 9% kidney function and the dye could significantly reduce his function.  He will also have scans to see if the other aneurysm problems in his body are stable.  I will try to keep you posted.

I sometimes feel like I am having a pity party when I write on the blog.  I hope it doesn't come across that way.  In actuality, I feel tremendously blessed that Rick has had so many more years than expected of good health.  He is a positive person and never lets his ailments known to others.  He is very strong and we both know that we have been carried along by our Heavenly Father.  We know we have some pretty hard decisions to make in the near future and along with those hard things we will receive tender mercies from our Heavenly Father as well. God is good and he loves everyone of us and knows our names, our hearts, and our struggles. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you to everyone who is rooting for us and praying for us.  We feel your love.  It helps more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where has the time gone?

So I look at the last time I posted on this blog and think ....Wow!  My time has just flown by.  It has been a year and a half.  That is just crazy to me.   So we are still hanging in there.  Rick still needs a kidney.  In fact, he has an appointment with his nephrologist tomorrow.  We shall see where his percentages are.  At the last appointment, he was at 9% kidney function.  Luckily, his other blood work has stayed fairly stable so he is not yet on dialysis.

A lot has transpired in the last year and a half.  We have a grandbaby girl Nora that was born in June of 2015.  That makes 7 beautiful little girls running around our house on many occasions. Here is a somewhat updated photo of our family.  Aren't they beautiful?  We are so blessed.

Too bad our kiddos can't donate.

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I know that the strength we receive from the gospel of Jesus Christ has helped us through the health issues that are facing Rick.  Our church has a current campaign going on called "Light The World".

During Christmas we are reminded that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. This
year, share that light by resolving to do the things Jesus Christ did. Every day leading
up to Christmas, focus on a di fferent Christlike behavior. For specific suggestions on
ways we can emulate His example go to mormon.org.

I am so impressed by the small simple things that really do make a light in the world.  The simple acts of kindness, the cheery hellos, and genuine smiles and cares by others that make our world a better place.  We have truly been the recipients of those special acts.  Today, December 5th the focus of Light the World is Jesus healed the sick and so can you.  A suggested act of service is to donate blood or become an organ donor.  It has been an eye opener to me of how many people are affected by different diseases and how important organ donation is.  Families can get a lot of extra years with their loved ones because of the selflessness of others.  

I will try to keep the blog updated better.  Thank you to all who have been to kind and who have done so much for our family over the years.  You are truly in our hearts.  

May each of you feel the true spirit of Christmas this holiday season.  May you have the opportunity to help #lighttheworld with your random acts of kindness and service.  Merry Christmas from the Young family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015



     So yesterday was my birthday.  And to my children, this is the dessert we should have had.  :)  I guess we can plan this dessert when Dad gets a new kidney!

     Now, when you get to be my age, birthdays are just another day.  Another day at work or another day of laundry.  However,  this birthday will be one that I am grateful for forever.  I got the best present today! " GREAT NEWS!!!!"

     After waiting five hours at the U last Friday, Rick had the scans of the brain and the abdomen with the surgical dye.  We anticipated a  2% to 10% decrease in kidney function from the dye.  However, his blood work showed no decrease (The Hallelujah chorus is playing over and over in my mind!).  We, along with many others, have been praying for this, so Rick wouldn't be forced into dialysis.  Even, our cute little grand-daughter Amelia, prays every night for her Grandpa to get a new kidney.  What a beautiful thing it is to be able to know that we are loved and cared about by so many people and our Heavenly Father.  Today, I am counting my blessings. 

     The next step, in our life of the Kidney issue, will be fixing the aneurysm problems that Rick has. Now that they have the scans, they can make decisions. Hopefully, we will have some answers in the next week. Eventually, I will learn the patience thing.  It is not my strongest attribute.  I want the answers and solutions right now. 

     For now, I will take the tender mercy given us.  I am grateful Rick has a little more time before dialysis.  Again, thank you to everyone who has been praying for us.  We feel your strength and love.  Please continue to keep Rick in your thoughts and prayers.  His journey is just beginning and will most likely be a long one.   We love you all!