Ashley Sherman Story

In Kidney Support Stories by The Road Back to Life

My story started when I was around 12 years old. I was very active at that age and played a lot of sports, especially soccer. I mysteriously started injuring myself, but more specifically it was my large toe on my right foot. I personally couldn’t remember how I injured my toe, and the doctors thought that all my pain was because I must have hurt it while I was participating in one of my many activities.

ashley-sherman-story-kidney-support-group-2Fast forward a few years and at the age of 15, I came down with Mononucleosis. Well after a few blood tests and urine samples they noticed that my kidneys weren’t working as well as they should be. I was quickly referred to a nephrologist and diagnosed with urate nephropathy, which are high levels or uric acid that are found in the urine. Well, all of that helped solve the mystery of my injuries; I was actually getting gout at the young age of 12.

With medication I was able to control my high uric acid levels and maintain my kidney function until my mid-twenties. At that time my kidney function had started to decline and I was listed on the transplant list with the University of Washington on February 14th 2013. My goal was to skip dialysis so I was listed right when my GFR fell below 20. I had many friends and family members who tested to be my living donor, and each one didn’t work out for one reason or another.

ashley-sherman-story-kidney-support-group-3My husband Tony decided to start his testing process in January 2015 and he turned out to be a perfect match. Unfortunately during his very last test the MRI, they found cancer in his right kidney and he was unable to donate to me. He had to undergo a partial nephrectomy to remove the tumor. He’s doing great now and we are so very thankful that they caught the kidney cancer early! Since I didn’t have a living donor, I had to start dialysis in July of 2015.

I decided to do peritoneal dialysis because it seemed to work with my active lifestyle the best. I went through all the training and once I started to actually dialyze at home, I experienced extreme pain in my peritoneum. They tried to adjust my catheter to help but the pain continued even after the surgery. At that point I decided to switch to in-center hemodialysis. I went in for surgery and had my PD catheter removed, a graft placed in my left arm and also a neck catheter was put in. The center used the neck catheter while my graft was healing.

Hemodialysis went pretty well. I loved my center and I loved my nurses! On March 24th 2016 at 10:30 PM I got the call that they had a cadaver kidney that they thought would be a good match for me. At 7:00 AM on March 25th I was sent in for surgery to have my transplant. One of the greatest days of my life! Since my transplant I feel like a whole new person and like my life is truly starting to begin. I will forever be so grateful to my donor and their loved ones because they honestly changed my life!