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The road to transplant: Armando’s journey

Armando’s early days of dialysis.

In 2007, 17-year-old Armando Gonzalez Valadez was tired, didn’t have much energy and always felt sick.

Soon after, Armando was diagnosed with kidney failure and started dialysis in the Mount Vernon area. After about six months, he moved to Lynnwood and became a Puget Sound Kidney Centers patient in Mountlake Terrace. His idol, Superman, was proudly displayed on t-shirts he wore to treatment.

Armando’s determination and strong will was evident with him working two— sometimes three—jobs to make ends meet. In 2011, Armando began doing home dialysis treatments five nights per week, which allowed him the ability to juggle work during the day. He also began helping the Mountlake Terrace social workers run a monthly support group that provides education to only Spanish-speaking patients.

Armando after his kidney transplant.

Not content at just working and living in this country, Armando was passionate about becoming a U.S. citizen. All his hard work and determination paid off in March of 2014 when he finally obtained his citizenship. Then, on December 27 of the same year, he received “the call.” It was his turn for a transplant.

The operation was successful and Armando received what he describes as “The best Christmas present, ever!”

For Armando, life after transplant has only gotten better. Recently, he was promoted to manager of Interstate Batteries, a company that celebrates his transplant anniversary every year with a cake. He has also just purchased his first home and got married.

Armando has shown that not only can Superman “jump tall buildings in a single bound,” he can beat kidney failure too. Like Armando says, “You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.”

Interested in learning more about kidney transplant? Read more about this treatment option here.

Kidney-Friendly Summer Recipes

It’s now officially August, and that means it’s the hottest time of year for many of us. Whether you’re planning on having friends and family over, or simply cooking for one, the recipes below are absolute musts. They’re packed full of flavor and low in salt — the perfect combination for people with kidney disease (and their friends and family too)! Here’s a brief look at our top summer foods, with links to the full recipes as well.

Chili Lime Dip With Veggies

The perfect appetizer for any summer meal, this Chili Lime Dip recipe is just as scrumptious as it is easy. Limes are a great way to add flavor and acid to a dish, and they really come through in this one. Chop up some carrots and peppers and you’re good to go!

 

Chicken ‘n’ Grape Salad Sandwich

With both celery and grapes included in this recipe, you’ll have plenty of crunch when you sink your teeth into this delicious sandwich filling. Not only is this one kidney-friendly, it’s easy to whip up as well! Check out the full Chicken ‘n’ Grape Salad Sandwich recipe to see just how simple it is to make.

 

Thai Shrimp Kebabs
Thai shrimp kebabs
Looking for a way to mix up your barbecue menu? Look no further than this recipe for Thai Shrimp Kebabs! Like spicy foods? Load on extra marinade for a bigger kick, then pair with our next recipe for a balanced bite.

 

Asian SlawcoleslawThis Asian Slaw recipe could be included in just about any meal, especially one served in summer. The classic cabbage, grapes, carrot and apple combination is tasty and crunchy, especially when drizzled with such a light dressing.

 

Lemon Loaf
Lemon loaf
Every summer meal needs a light and refreshing dessert, and we strongly recommend considering this Lemon Loaf recipe. With bright, citrusy notes, this dessert is easy to make ahead of time and slice up on demand.

 

Want more kidney-friendly, low sodium recipes for summer, and every season? Check out our recipe page for more!

Kidney-Friendly Superfoods

Should you choose natural foods over processed or packaged foods? Yes and here’s why! Many fruits and vegetables have antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients that help keep your body strong and healthy. Although some of the healthiest choices are high in potassium, smaller servings can usually be added if you need to limit potassium. Ask your dietitian if these kidney-friendly superfoods are right for you.

Apples are a good source of fiber, which can lower cholesterol and blood sugar. The apple peel has extra antioxidants, which can help protect brain cells.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer and heart disease. They also have fiber and vitamin C, good for immune health and digestion.

Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These can help control clotting, improve heartbeat and blood pressure, and lower triglyceride levels.

Kale is packed with vitamins A and C, calcium and other minerals that support eye-health and have anti-cancer benefits.

Strawberries are loaded with fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants that help protect your heart, prevent cancer and fight inflammation.

Spinach is high in vitamins A, C, K and folate, nutrients that help boost your immune system and protect your vision.

Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and B6, and fiber. These nutrients boost your immune system and help your vision, red blood cells, cholesterol and digestion.

Look for recipes that include these superfoods for delicious and healthy eating, and make sure to try this delicious recipe for fruit salsa!

Want more kidney-friendly, low sodium recipes? Check out the recipe section of our website!