Elgin Man Waiting For 4th Kidney Transplant In 30 Years

(CBS) — An Elgin man whose immune system has led to rejection after rejection after rejection of donor kidneys is about to go under the knife again, and this time, his doctor says, is going to be different.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser has the exclusive story.

Pete Giannaris has been here before.

“Definitely mixed emotions going on,” he said.

Giannaris was at the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday, waiting for his fourth kidney transplant on Wednesday.

In the past 30 years, he’s received donated kidneys from his mother, his father, and another donor.

Now 38 years old, Giannaris has been on dialysis for 12 years, and on the waiting list for another kidney all that time.

Then, along came a stranger; an anonymous donor who wanted to help someone. The donor proved to be a match for Giannaris.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you over and over again,” he said.

Due to medical breakthroughs, his doctor has told him the prognosis is good for this transplant.

“The funny part of it is I haven’t gone to the washroom for 12 years; so they told me that I’m going to be going to the washroom very frequently,” he said. “I hear my friends tell me, sometimes we’re on the golf course or something, ‘Aw, man, I’ve got to go to the washroom again.’ I’d give anything to go to the washroom again, you know what I mean?”

Giannaris had some advice to others in similar situations: stay strong.

“There’s always something around the corner that could happen,” he said. “Look at me. You know, 12 years, and it’s finally going to happen.”

Giannaris asked people to check out the Donate Life America website to learn about contributing to organ, eye, and tissue donation programs.

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