Micah Evans has been battling diabetes since he was 6 years old. The disease caused him to lose sight in his left eye, some of the feeling in his hands and feet and, in 2011, experience total kidney failure.
Until a couple of years ago, Evans thought he was fighting this battle alone.
“I was going through my experiences feeling stuck,” said Evans, “I was not making the right and healthy decisions that I should have been.”
Evans’ approach and attitude toward his health changed when he realized his diabetes and dialysis care team, as well as his endocrinologist, would not stop supporting or encouraging him. “They never gave up on me,” he said.
His care team was crucial during the three years, from 2013 to 2016, when Evans was trying to get on the waiting list to receive a kidney and pancreas transplant at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland.
“I went through every emotion during that process,” he said. “They were there for me every step of the way.”
Evans credits Kathy Hillary, a diabetes educator at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, as one of the most influential people who helped him improve his health and outlook.
“She was vital to me going from not caring, to doing things the right way and now finally becoming healthier,” Evans said. “She has been wonderful.”
This July, Evans received his kidney and pancreas transplant at OHSU. Following the procedure, Evans’ kidney is working perfectly and his pancreas is doing well after receiving some additional care.
Contact with other organ recipients since his procedure has been very beneficial for Evans
“Sharing experiences and receiving support from other recipients has been a big help for me,” Evans said.
As his health improves, Evans looks forward to spending more time with his five kids, building connections with other diabetes patients to help them and provide support, and hopes to one day become an endocrinology dietitian.
“I want to help patients make the right decisions and choices the first time,” Evans said. “I want them to know they have all the right people around them fighting for their health."
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