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Joseph has proven that you can live a full and happy life with kidney disease.

Beth’s son Joseph was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome at 6 years old. This is their family’s story.

Our son, Joseph, was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome at the age of 6. As parents, we were very worried, as we didn’t know anything about it and were advised not to look for information on the internet, as it can be inaccurate. Kidney Wales provide a wealth of knowledge, information and reassurance. Joseph is now 18. He takes medication to control his condition, but is fit, well and lives life to the max! He raises funds for Kidney Wales as a way of thanking them for their continued support.

It is unknown what caused Joseph’s Nephrotic Syndrome, but his condition is controlled by steroids and levamisole. He leads a normal, healthy lifestyle and likes to keep fit. I remember when Joseph was in hospital following his diagnosis, he was given a Nintendo DS for being brave – he’d wanted one for ages but couldn’t play it because his hands were too swollen! As Joseph went through school, he wanted to keep his condition a secret and did not like having to tell peers and teachers about it. For example, he didn’t want to take his medication on overnight school trips or to sleepovers at his friends homes.

When Joseph was first diagnosed, as parents, we were very worried about his future. However, Joseph has proven that you can live a full and happy life with kidney disease. He is no different from his peers, he just needs medication to help his kidneys behave! He loves mountain biking, he has coped with lockdown by building his own mountain bike and hopes to enter professional competitions as soon as possible.

We enjoy spending time as a family. Joseph, along with his dad and brother, plays football regularly. He was due to start University in September of 2020, but has so far done his studies online at home, he is looking forward to going to the university when it is possible.

We would like to thank all of the staff at The Children’s Kidney Centre, UHW are absolutely amazing in the support and care that they provide. In addition, we had great support from Danielle at Kidney Wales. She really is a lovely lady and we are proud to help her fundraising initiatives.