Matthew’s Story

Site created on October 12, 2019

Thank you for coming to my Caring Bridge page. This is where I will keep friends and family up to date on my Kidney disease and my transplant journey. 

I have been living with Type 2 Diabetes for the last 20 years. Earlier in 2019, I started to retain water in my legs and get fatigued more easily. After completing medical testing, I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. Currently my kidneys are only functioning at 20-30%. My doctors are hopeful that I can find a kidney donor before having to start the long arduous process of kidney dialysis. 

My mom, Cathy, passed away almost 5 years ago while waiting for a kidney and heart transplant. She was too young when that happened and it was extremely hard on our family. I am hoping to avoid the hardships she went through while waiting, and to save my wife and son from having to go through this process all over again. 

I am searching for a living donor. I am also on the kidney transplant waiting list, but the wait is long (5 plus years). My blood type is A- (You do not need to be an exact match to my blood type to be a potential donor). You can help me fight this in several ways. 

1. It is a really big ask, however, if you wish to explore being a living donor, please contact the Barnes Jewish Kidney Transplant center at 314-362-5365, option #4.  

2. Please share my story and be an advocate for me to spread the word about me needing a kidney. It has been shown that social media has increased the possibility of living donors coming forward to help others out. 

3. You can learn more about living donation on the National Kidney Foundation website at

I don’t make these requests lightheartedly. Many of you know that I am a generally private person, who prefers to help others versus asking for help for myself. However, the time has come that I need to ask for assistance so that I can make the most out of my time on this earth with my family. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Matthew Kalisiak

Today was a great day! Not only is today six weeks post transplant, but after 6 long weeks the JP drain that had been coming out of my abdomen finally was removed today. I will now be able to do the little things that I have been missing since the transplant. Sleeping at night without worry of catching the tube from the drain, using two hands to do simple every day activities like taking a shower or getting dressed, and exercising without having to protect the tube or drain will all be able to be done with ease now. 

My mother in law, Laura, is doing great. She continues to do more and more each day and is finding things to keep her busy and out of her husbands hair! I continue to exercise more each day and have gotten above 10,000 steps 3 out of the last 4 days, something that I hadn't done in a year or so. Right now I am trying to get back to my energy and activity levels from 2-3 years ago prior to the kidney disease setting in. 

Brooke, Shawn, and I are all doing well staying away from the stores and such due to the COVID-19 virus going around. The three of us are all working from home now and we haven't had too many arguments yet. Shawn's virtual learning is going great and Brooke is working through telehealth for her physical therapy business. I am back to work now and working from home for the past couple of weeks and am getting back into a rhythm of things.
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