Living kidney donation will make a huge impact on the life of a young Round Lake mother

It’s safe to say that a typical day in the life of a 35-year-old woman, wife, and mother of two who also holds down a full-time job is a busy one. But for Kristen Armitage, she’s handling all of this and so much more as she manages life while living with a rare form of kidney disease.

The eldest daughter of Cathy and Eugene Cashubec, Kristen was born and raised in Round Lake and continues to live there with her family today, just down the road from mom and dad. She left the area after high school to attend Canadore College in North Bay, where she met her future husband, Andrew Armitage.

A vibrant and active young lady who enjoys kayaking, skiing, and snowboarding, she first noticed that something was amiss with her health when she began having recurring urinary tract infections about ten years ago. “I would go to the doctor and get a course of antibiotics, only to have it return again. I also noticed it happened when I had a flu and that it was worse after my first pregnancy with my daughter Heather (now nine years old).” She credits a young doctor working in the Emergency Department during a visit to St. Francis Memorial Hospital for exploring this further with more in-depth blood work after hearing her story. The results showed kidney abnormalities and she was referred to the Nephrology Clinic at Renfrew Victoria Hospital (RVH).

Once there, Kristen says “they suspected I had a rare and chronic kidney disease called lgA Nephropathy, a condition where antibodies build up in the kidneys and cause damage resulting in them not being able to filter the blood.” After undergoing a biopsy, the diagnosis was confirmed.

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