Kidney For Kevin

In March 2020, I went to the doctor for I what thought was a really bad headache.  Turns out I was experiencing very high blood pressure due to kidney disease.

I am now going through the process of looking for the right hospital to perform the transplant. I have a donor and he is graciously and patiently waiting to help me.   After a long journey with Medstar Georgetown, they at first approved the surgery, then later declined to perform it.  (details in the blog below)  I’m currently contacting more hospitals, as I am confident that there are doctors out there who believe that this kidney transplant can and will work.

Becoming a kidney donor is a tremendous gesture.  According to medical surveys,  most donors experience a psychological benefit.  If you would like to be considered for a kidney donor please reach out to the centers below.  I thank you for your encouragement through my journey and I appreciate you reading this.  My family and co-workers thank you as well! – Kevin Kash

Johns Hopkins Transplant Center
(apply online or call)

University of Maryland Kidney Transplant Center
(apply online or call)

National Kidney Foundation

BLOG UPDATES

Not much to update for a while.  Covid slows everything down.  As for how I’ve been feeling, sleep is rare.  Insomnia is bad.  Frequent headaches to the point where it actually scared me last night because it was so intense.  Working with dialysis center to adjust blood pressure medicine since it’s still high. Going to do a sleep test, too.  I feel great when I can string together a few hours of sleep, but that has only happened once is the last…oh, I can’t remember.  I can tell you that my Gastro Dr. and Colorectal Surgeon from Johns Hopkins are working with the JHU transplant team to make sure my Crohn’s is under control in order to move forward with the transplant. The nurses have informed me that a few people have inquired about being my kidney donor.  The more the merrier. But, all I need is one that qualifies.  If you are interested, please contact Johns Hopkins at the number below.  You can also apply online. What a great feeling it would be to save someone’s life…mine.  Be well…

I know I haven’t posted in a while.  Been dealing with quite a bit of pain related to having Crohn’s Disease.  I’m talking immobilizing pain at times.  Hopefully, that gets resolved tomorrow 12/21.  I’m having outpatient surgery that should relive the pain. As for my kidney transplant, I’ve completed the necessary testing with Johns Hopkins.  I would imagine that the transplant team is waiting to hear from the surgeon that is performing tomorrow’s procedure in order to move forward.   Unfortunately, I do have a set back to tell you about.  I am back to needing a kidney donor.  The donor that I had lined up has not been cleared to donate at this time.  I appreciate that he stepped up and offered me a kidney and I’m thankful for people like him.  I know there are more of you out there.  If you are interested in donating a kidney to me, please contact Johns Hopkins and/or University of Maryland at the number below. If you think you might not be eligible to donate  for whatever reason, don’t let that stop you from trying.  Let the doctors be the ones to tell. Thank you!  I truly hope you have a great holiday season!  Be well…

Sorry, it’s been a while since my last blog post.  Trying to get tests lined up for Johns Hopkins.   Good thing is…I only have to have two additional tests done. CT scan is scheduled for Wed 10/27.  Still waiting on the other one to call to set up.  I’ve been feeling a bit more energy at times from the dialysis.  It’s a pain to have to hook up to it for 9 hours every night, but it is what it is.  My wonderful wife and caretaker helps me with it tremendously.  My blood pressure has been all over the place.  One part of the day it’s high, then it’s low.  Scary part is when it’s low, I’m subject to blackouts.  They only seem to want to happen after I’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.  It’s no fun doing a full on face plant in a parking lot.  It sure did raise my blood pressure real quick.  I just really need to take my time getting up.  I’m ok for the most part.  Just a few cuts and bumps.   Be well…

The ball is rolling again. Very positive meeting with doctor and social worker  at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. (Go Ravens!)  I also gave 13 vials of blood.  It’s a normal routine for kidney patients.  The transplant coordinator will begin to round up my  records and test results from Georgetown, so I hopefully don’t have to repeat to many.  Next step is for JHU Transplant Nephrologist to meet with colon rectal surgeon and Gastro doctor to get all on board. Good thing is, they are all JHU doctors.  Kidney transplant is the main goal, but they want to make absolutely sure the Crohn’s is in check.  That has to happen first.  I feel like they will explore all options to make this happen.  More to come…

 Just a quick story of “hope” to share with you.

https://www.baltimoreravens.com/news/lional-dalton-has-a-message-following-life-saving-kidney-transplant

After reading that story about Super Bowl Chanp Lionel Dalton, I felt inspired to reach out to him.  Here’s how it went: “Lionel, first off congratulations on getting your kidney transplant! Your story was so motivating and uplifting. I too am facing end-stage kidney disease. I have a living donor and we were all ready to go to surgery with Medstar Georgetown when they decided to change their minds. Next stop John’s Hopkins. I have an appointment October 5th. You are a true inspiration. I wish you and your family all the best! Born and raised in Baltimore and a Ravens fan for life. – Kevin Kash”

Lionel got back to me soon after with this:  “Kevin THANK YOU for sharing your story with me and I am praying for you to get the kidney you need as well. Believe me, I went through many discouraging close calls with possible donors as well, BUT the right one WILL come along. PLEASE keep me posted on your journey as well. We are forever bonded by the same, difficult quest we both faced.  PS…so you were a fan when I was in the SB?”

Johns Hopkins called today to confirm the appointment on 10/5.  I am ready..  Be well…

Peritoneal Dialysis training continues.  It’s going well.  Mrs. Kash has been a blessing to me in so many ways.  She is learning how to set up my home dialysis, right along side me.  She’s even better at it than I am.  I can’t say enough how grateful I am to have her and the incredible staff at DaVita.  After receiving a treatment today, I got another 2lbs of fluid (yuck) out of my body.  Today, I also downloaded the DaVita app so I can begin to input my vitals (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, drain volume from dialysis, etc.).  I’ve even felt a little bit of energy creep back into my body. But I get out of breath pretty easily so I know there’s still a long way to go.  Also, met with a social worker through DaVita.  We talked about the kidney transplant process.  She was amazed that I’ve had a living donor for a year and a half now and still haven’t had the transplant.  I should’ve directed her to read this blog and she’d understand why.  Regardless, she was able to give some guidance on the next steps to take to get it done.  More training this week and next. Be well…

The surgery went well.  Dialysis catheter is now in place.  This morning, I received my first kidney dialysis treatment.  It’s a lot to take in, but the staff at DaVita is amazing.  Thank you to Megan and Cindy for making my wife and I feel welcome, encouraged, and full of positive spirit.  It’s a training process that will take some time to learn before I can start doing it at home.  I also found out that they’ll even help with communication to the hospitals to set up my transplant.  I’m exhausted from not getting a lot of sleep, BUT I’m optimistic. My adrenaline has kicked in due to the uplifting experience today.  I lost nearly 2lbs of fluid that I was retaining from having ESD (end stage kidney disease).  My next appointment is on Monday 8/30/21.  Thanks for reading and be well…

Sorry it’s taken so long to post an update.  I’ve been waiting for some appointments to get confirmed.  Ok, I’ve also been a bit bummed out about what’s been going on lately.  I’ve been putting weight back on, but I think it’s mostly due to fluid retention in my legs, feet and stomach.  Some of the medicines that I’m on may contribute to this.  The swelling in my feet got to the point where I couldn’t even fit in my shoes and had to go out an get bigger ones. I’ve also been experiencing more shortness of breath lately.  All in line with end stage kidney disease and some of the medications that I’m on.  You should see the concoction of meds I get to take each day!   I am going in for surgery on Wed 8/25 to get the dialysis catheter in place.  Then, eight days of dialysis training will begin on Thursday 8/26 at 8:30am.  I sure hope it helps.  Still on the books for 10/5 appointment with Johns Hopkins for kidney transplant evaluation.  Be well…

Received the paperwork from Johns Hopkins transplant department today.  Will begin filling that out.  Also, through a friend’s suggestion, I’ve reached out to an additional hospital to get evaluated for transplant.  It’s confusing to juggle dealing with two hospitals, but hopefully worth it in the long run even if just one of them will perform the surgery.  That additional hospital is the University of Maryland in Baltimore.  I had started the evaluation process with them around the same time as Georgetown.  Once Georgetown had taken the lead late last year and actually scheduled the transplant last January (see below), U of Maryland paused the process.  Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off and use some of that valuable information back when I started the process.  They will be calling me soon to discuss.  Be well…

 Today, I received a call from the Johns Hopkins Transplant Center in Baltimore.  My appointment is set for October 5 @ 1pm.  I will be evaluated at that time.  Hopefully, I can get approved for transplant.  They will call if an appointment opens up sooner.  So, what happens in the meantime?  Well, I will most likely contact my kidney doctor and begin the dialysis process.  Stay tuned for more.  Be well…

It’s been a week of ups & downs for me.  Celebrating 10 years at 106.9 The Eagle today.  Thanks so much to the Mannings and all of the great people I have met and worked with along the way.  I also received a phone call on Friday from Georgetown Hospital that stunned me.  The transplant department met and discussed my case and has decided to decline my kidney transplant.  The reason given was that I’m considered a high risk due to infection related to my Crohn’s Disease.  I have begun the process of contacting Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for a second opinion. I’ve worked with one of their surgeons for Crohn’s issues already and will bring in the JH transplant team with hopes of a positive outcome.  I appreciate all of the words of love, support and encouragement you’ve shown me since I announced that I need a kidney transplant. I will continue to fight!  Be well…

I had the surgical procedure on 6/28.  Everything went as planned, except that whatever I eat doesn’t seem to want to stay with me.  Nothing like irritating your bottom after it’s been the focal point of a medical procedure.  I don’t know if it’s the anesthesia causing the nausea.  Either way, I hope it passes soon.  Waiting to hear from the transplant team at Georgetown Hospital for any news.  Will let you know when I hear something.  Be well…

I’ll have one more procedure under anesthesia at Georgetown Hospital on June 28th.  Their colorectal surgeon wants to make sure there is no infection from Crohn’s in order to move forward with re-scheduling my kidney transplant. Some of the side effects I’ve been feeling due to kidney failure include itching, fatigue, shortness of breath and an occasional irregular heartbeat.  Insomnia has introduced itself to me on quite a few occasions, too.  I had hoped to have this procedure sooner than this, but it’s the first appointment that they had available.  Chin up, good thoughts, moving forward!  Be well…

Two for one trip to Georgetown today.  Two doctors, one visit.  I saw two surgeons today.  The first was a colorectal surgoen to get my Crohn’s Disease issue under control.  He was very in tune with my problem and wants do one more scope procedure soon.  After that procedure. he feels that we should have the green light for the kidney transplant.  I sure hope so and I know you do, too!  My second doctor visit today was with a surgeon from the Georgetown transplant team.  He explained the reason why this is taking so long.  It’s that the doctors want to make sure that once I’m on immunosuppressants post-surgery, that I don’t lose the kidney due to any possible infection from my Crohn’s issues.  It’s complicated and I feel like I’m at their mercy.  Waiting for the procedure to be scheduled (hopefully very soon), so we can continue to move forward.  Be well…

I apologize for the month in between updates.  As Tom Petty sang, “The Waiting is the hardest part”. No lie.  It’s been “hurry up and wait” and it’s frustrating.  I feel like the new Crohn’s medication Stelara is helping me.  I feel like I’m ready for my kidney transplant.  My donor is patiently waiting, but I’m sure the delay is causing him some anxiety as well. Many, not just myself are affected by the delay and I feel compassion for all of you who are feeling frustrated along with me.  I do meet with another doctor at Georgetown this Thursday morning, June 8.  I hope to move things forward soon after that.  Stay tuned.  Be well…

I have a colonoscopy set for this Thursday 5/13 at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, DC.  This should provide valuable information regarding my Crohn’s issues and how they factor in with my kidney transplant. The doctor from the Georgetown transplant team that I have been working with is really good.  She specializes in gastrointestinal issues. She is determined to get me to the transplant stage of this whole process.  She’s helping me develop a plan to get this done.  Should have more news next week.  Be well…

Another month has passed with no new information.  But today I received a call from Georgetown Hospital regarding the transplant.  They are concerned about the risk of infection post-surgery. Meaning infection caused from Crohn’s Disease.  They have spoken with my Crohn’s doctors at Johns Hopkins.  Now they would like to meet with me.  I have a virtual appointment with a doctor from the Georgetown transplant team on Thursday 4/29.  I’ll be listening intently and have questions ready.  Be well…

It’s been a week since I was given the news about my MRI results (see below).  I hadn’t heard what the next steps were so I reached out to my Crohn’s surgeon.  She informed me that it is NOT a 2 centimeter abscess rather just fluid build up in the intestine.  This is encouraging news.  She also told me that she had received no word at all from the doctor who made this diagnosis.  While I am angry and upset about this and the amount of time it is taking, I must move forward with the task at hand of getting back on track for the kidney transplant.  I’m now waiting for the doctors to sort it all out and let me know what’s next.   I hope things can get worked out soon.  Be well…

I just spoke with my Crohn’s doctor at Johns Hopkins. After the test that I had done on Friday, a 2 centimeter abscess was discovered in my body. The medication that I’ve been on for Crohn’s Disease is supposed to prevent accesses from occurring. So, my medication will change to Stelara. The doctor will consult with the surgeon at Hopkins to see how she wants to proceed with dealing with the abscess. This has to be dealt with before the kidney transplant as they don’t want to run the risk of giving me a new kidney only to have it fail if I still have infection in my body. I’m waiting to hear from the surgeon at Hopkins to see when I can have this issues addressed.  Also, on an unrelated note I’d like to wish a very Happy 20th Anniversary to my wife, Sherry.  Thank you for always being there for me!  Be well…

I received a call from Georgetown Hospital today.  The transplant surgeon has spoken with my Crohn’s doctor from Johns Hopkins.  They have scheduled me for an MRE.  Magnetic resonance enterography is an imaging test that lets your doctor see detailed pictures of your small intestine. It can pinpoint inflammation, bleeding, and other problems.  I go for the test on Friday 3/19.  The results will be faxed to Georgetown and Johns Hopkins.  Then, I have a follow up on Tuesday. March 23rd (my 20th wedding anniversary) with the Crohn’s doctor at 8am.  Hopefully, we can move forward with rescheduling the kidney transplant after this test is done and discussed.  Be well..

Sorry, I haven’t updated in a while.  I’m still waiting for a call from the Georgetown transplant team about re-scheduling my surgery.  I spoke with them about a week ago and did find out that they have collected the necessary records and a letter from my Johns Hopkins Crohn’s doctors clearing me for the transplant.  I hope to get the call soon.  My kidney function remains at 8%.  I know that is very low, but it’s what I’m dealing with.  My iron levels are low again.  So, I’ll be going for an iron infusion tomorrow.  Hopefully, next time I post, I’ll have a transplant surgery date to tell you about.   As always, thank you for following along with me.  Be well…

I had my appointment with the Crohn’s specialist from Johns Hopkins.  He is very thorough and wants to help me get my Crohn’s Disease under control.  For me, the main reason I was taking the appointment was to get cleared for the kidney transplant.  He didn’t bring it up, so I did.  He mentioned that I should speak with the surgeon about it.  The very same surgeon that sent me to him to get cleared.  When I told him that, he said that since I had the surgery to help my Crohn’s issue that I should now be ready to re-schedule the transplant.  I was relieved to hear this.  So, I contacted the transplant center at Georgetown.  I had to leave a voicemail (after all it was a Friday).  Waiting on a call back.  Hopefully, my next post here will be to tell you that the transplant surgery is back on.  Be well…

Post-op follow up from my Crohn’s surgery went well.  Still dealing with pain, but not nearly what it was before surgery.  I have an MRI scheduled this morning so the doctors can get more information.  That’s all its been lately: tests, blood draws, medicine pick-ups, doctor appts (in-person and video).  Next step is a meeting on February 19 with Johns Hopkins Crohn’s specialist.  I’m hopefully to get his blessing to proceed with re-scheduling the kidney transplant at that appointment.  The reason I can’t get in to see him quicker is due to Covid-19.  He has cut back on in-person visits and that was the earliest date I could get.  Will ride it out!  Be well…

 The Crohn’s Disease surgery in Baltimore went well.  I drifted off to sleep while the fine doctors /surgeons at Johns Hopkins did their thing.  I’ve experienced some pain in the days since the surgery, but nothing nearly as bad prior to it.   Next, the post-surgery follow-up on Wednesday 1/27.  I hope to hear that I’m closer to re-scheduling the kidney transplant.  Will keep you posted.  Be well…

Just got the word this morning…my surgery for Crohn’s Disease issues is next Thursday 1/21 at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.  I’m a little nervous, but glad to get it over with.  Hopefully, it will be a quick recovery time so I can be cleared for my kidney transplant at Georgetown.  Let’s go! Be well…

Well, here we go into a new year.  I’m hopeful for better health and I’m following the leads from my doctors to get things right.  Now that the kidney transplant is on hold, I’m working with my Gastroenterologist (from here on I’ll refer to him as my Crohn’s doctor) , my primary care doctor and my surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to come up with a plan of action to get my Crohn’s Disease in check.  I hope it doesn’t take too long.  I have an MRI coming up to help the doctors see how the Crohn’s is affecting me.  Once that is done, I will need a minor surgical procedure under anesthesia to get things under control.  I’ll call it a “literal pain in the a**”, lol!  After that procedure, I’m sure there will be some healing time leading to a follow up appointment with the surgeon.  Oh yeah, toss in a colonoscopy that they want me to get, too.  Once all of that happens, I hope to get clearance from Johns Hopkins to get the kidney transplant back on the schedule at Georgetown.  Got all that?!  It’s crazy.  Lots of doctors, tests, blood work, etc.  I’m trying to stay positive.  Life is good and I’d like to be here for a while.  Thanks for following my story.  Be well…

Today, I visited with a surgeon at Medstar Georgetown Hospital as a pre-evaluation for my upcoming kidney transplant.  Many of you know that I also deal with Crohn’s Disease.  Well, that has decided to flare up at the wrong time and has caused a set back.  My transplant surgery has been postponed until I can get the Crohn’s in check.  I am sad and upset by this, but more determined than ever to get it fixed so I can move forward with getting a new kidney.  I will spend the upcoming days ahead meeting with my Crohn’s doctors to make things right.  I will let you know when the new date is set for the transplant.  Trust me, the sooner the better! Thanks again for your love, support and encouragement.  Here’s to a safe, healthy and happy 2021!  Be well…

Christmas has come early for the Kash Family.  I am excited and extremely happy to announce that I have a living kidney donor!  My transplant surgery is set for January 14th.  Words can’t express how grateful I am to my donor.  Such unconditional caring and incredible generosity from this man.  He is my hero and I will tell him that.  I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.  I was told I’d be in the hospital about 3 days.  Not sure how long recovery is after that, but I’ll keep you posted.  I’ll check in with you before the surgery date.  Wishing you a Merry Christmas!  I hope your 2021 rocks!  Be well…

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I’ve updated here.  I apologize for that.  The pandemic really does mess with my sense of time.  Anyway, I’m now getting Procrit shots once a week now.  They are used to help with anemia.  Crohn’s Disease has been a battle.  Ups & downs with that.  I have to be more cautious of what I eat, and I will.  I hope to have some good news to share with you soon.  Be well…

I had my first iron infusion today. (Insert “I Am Iron Man” soundbite here). The staff at Meritus in the infusion center were great. They were very informative and made me feel comfortable and relaxed.  I’m receiving iron sucrose, which is used to treat iron deficiency anemia in people with kidney disease.  I’ll go again next week and the week after.  Takes about 2 hours.  Crohn’s Disease continues to mess with me,  but I will continue the fight to get to better health.  Regarding a kidney donor, please know that the process is on going. I’ll pass along any definitive news when the time is right.  Thanks for being here and many thanks for your support! Be well…

Wow, it’s October. The other day I was looking up celebrity’s ages on IMDB with my wife and kept saying “so and so turns this age coming up soon in June”. I honestly thought summer was coming, only to realize that it passed me by. I spent the majority of it in my house or going to doctors appointments and tests.”  I never thought losing time was possible, but with COVID still around dealing with kidney disease and Crohn’s disease I realize it certainly is.

Not gonna sugar coat it friends, the last few weeks have been filled with frowny-faced pain if you were looking at the pain chart. Mainly from Crohn’s, but the kidney disease could be intensifying it. My wife and kids have been so supportive doing things for me and getting me what I need to get some relief.  I just can’t stand feeling helpless.  When the pain is so bad just to even sit or stand it’s hard to do anything until I can break the pain cycle.  More doctors. But I feel better as I’m writing this. Just gotta eat more and get my weight back up. I’ve lost 50lbs since March 2020. (Not that I couldn’t stand to lose some back then, just not this much). I start Iron infusions next week so that should be fun.

Good news is I’m all registered and now officially on the national kidney donor recipient list at Medstar Georgetown and the University of Maryland. (Links to become my donor are below).  Be well…

I recently went to Georgetown Hospital to complete my transplant evaluation.  I also received word from the University of Maryland that I have been accepted onto their transplant list as well.  So, I am now able to receive a kidney transplant from both hospitals.  Today, my kidney doctor called and said my numbers continue to climb (meaning, they’re not good).  Dialysis is most likely coming soon.  I’d like to take a moment to thank anyone that has contacted either hospital about becoming my kidney donor.  Words can’t express how much that means to me and my family.  I remain positive and hopeful that someone will come through! (info for both hospitals that I am registered with are below.)

Went to see my Nephrologist (a.k.a. kidney doctor) today.  Went over blood work.  Most levels were decent, heart and lungs sounded good.  We discussed when I would start kidney dialysis.  He said it’s ultimately my decision, but not to wait until symptoms get bad.  He then asked how I was feeling.  It’s hard being a fighter and admitting when things are dragging you down.  So, I told him there are times when I feel fatigued more than usual.  I watched as he jotted that down.  I’m grateful that he keeps such a close eye on my condition.  I just wish it would get better, but after all it is stage 5 kidney disease.  Keep fighting!

Went for a stress test today.  Let me tell you, that is the perfect name for this test.  I started off on the treadmill to a steady walking pace and a short incline.  I was told it would increase in 3 minute intervals for a total of 12 minutes.  Not having eaten anything since the day before, I barely made it to the second quarter of the test.  So, they went with a different approach of injecting me to get my heart rate up.  WOW!  I thought I was going to pass out.  I’m glad it’s over, but I’m still groggy from the medicine as I do the show today.  The good news: the test was a success in clearing me for kidney transplant.  On a separate note, the incisions from my procedure to insert the PD catheter seem to be healing well.  It still hurts at times, though.

I’m back on the air today after a few days of recovery from the surgery to place the PD (Peritoneal Dialysis) catheter.  It’s great to be working again.  I can’t thank the ownership and management at Manning Media enough.  The folks from my part-time job at Hearst Baltimore have been really great to me as well.  I am truly blessed to work with and know some incredibly compassionate  and caring people. Also, I’d like to take a moment to show my appreciation for my wife, Sherry. She is my angel.  She’s going through this with me and I see how strong and supportive she is for me. Even though I know how much it affects her.  A few others that I’d like to thank real quick: my son & daughter, my mom, brother and sister-in-law.  They have all been very encouraging and supportive.

So, after 4 incisions in the abdomen, I feel like I’ve been gut punched repeatedly.  The catheter was buried under my skin.  If my kidneys continue to fail, I’ll have to go in for a simple procedure to get it out and begin kidney dialysis. Although, I don’t know if ANY procedures are simple.  I have a Procrit shot coming up on 8/21 and a Stress Test on 8/24/20.

My most recent blood test shows that my kidney function is decreasing over the last few months.  As of the first week of August 2020, it stands at only 8% functionality.  On 8/12/20, I am going in to Meritus Medical Center for a procedure to have a catheter put in place for upcoming Peritoneal Dialysis.