It is fair to say that Howell, N.J., resident Scott Pearson has endured his fair of medical challenges over the last ten years of his life.
In 2011, Pearson’s doctor diagnosed him with IgA nephropathy, chronic kidney disease (CKD), after a routine physical for his CDL license.
Medication, diet, and guidance from his doctor have helped Pearson manage his CKD.
Unfortunately, one of Pearson’s CKD medications caused Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR)–a condition in which fluid builds up under the retina and can distort vision–in his right eye.
Thankfully, two injections once a month since 2014 has helped successfully treat Pearson’s CSR.
However, Pearson faced another medical hurdle in 2018 when his doctor diagnosed him with stage III prostate cancer.
Subsequently, Pearson had surgery to remove his prostate, followed by 38 radiation treatments over seven weeks.
Remarkably, he said, he did not have any adverse reactions to the radiation.
“My doctor sat me down and said, ‘You have cancer, and here are your options,'” Pearson, 53, explained. “I wanted to have it removed, and it was. I wanted to get it done now.”
Moreover, Pearson’s kidney numbers started to decline, and his nephrologist educated him regarding his treatment options.
He connected Pearson with a dialysis nurse, who encouraged him to consider registering for a living donor kidney transplant list.
Pearson took her advice and reached out to the Robert Wood Johnson kidney transplant team in July of 2019. After several meetings, many tests, and more blood analyses, RWJ finally approved him for the living donor transplant list in July of 2020.
Pearson said he feels he has avoided kidney dialysis, for the time being, allowing him to work and maintain his well-being due in part to his wife Tammy, a Reiki practitioner for 35 years. Reiki is a Japanese form of alternative medicine that is known to help with energy healing.
Tammy also uses other natural healing methods to improve her husband’s health, including reflexology (footwork), meditation, crystal healing, and craniosacral therapy.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on manipulation of the synarthrodial joints of the cranium that may balance cerebral fluids. CST may provide relief of a variety of nagging symptoms, including headaches, neck pain, and side effects of cancer treatment, among others.
Pearson said he knows that nothing is guaranteed, no matter how much he practices good health habits, and that undergoing dialysis treatment is a real possibility.
Therefore, he is hoping a living donor will step-up and donate a kidney.
“Yeah, they (natural healing and eating healthy) keep me going, he explained. “Dialysis, if I can avoid it, that would be great. But if I have to do it, so be it. But I want to avoid dialysis. It’s not fun.”
Fortunately for Pearson, he has a Godsend in his corner: Donna Tissot, a kidney donor advocate who has been working on finding him a living donor.
“One of Tammy’s friends saw a news article with Donna in it, and she found her on Facebook and message her,” Pearson recalled. “Donna has been instrumental with social media and getting the word out.”
If you like to take the first step toward screening to see if you match with Pearson, please fill out this form: https://www.rwjbh.org/…/kidney…/become-a-living-donor/ and state Scott Pearson as the intended recipient.
Scott’s blood type is O, but it is not the deciding factor in donating a kidney. All blood types are welcome, and if you don’t know what type you are, that will be your first test.
Please contact Jami Abes at Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health:Jami.Abes@rwjbh.org or call her @ 732-253-3338 for further information.
— Jerry Del Priore
Photos: Scott Pearson.