Kate Hetzel had a kidney stone that changed her life, now she spreads kidney disease awareness at the Philadelphia Kidney Walk.
A kidney stone both changed, and saved, Kate Hetzel’s life. The 24-year-old nurse was told that the kidney stone was the least of her worries when she went the doctor. There was a cancerous mass on her right kidney. After battling the cancer, and undergoing the removal of her kidney, Kate is now making strides to spread kidney disease awareness and is participating in the Philadelphia Kidney Walk.
“I had a kidney stone and went in to get a scan done,” Hetzel said. “They found the stone, but they also found a mass on my right kidney. It was the luckiest kidney stone anyone could have had.”
Hetzel was diagnosed with kidney cancer and doctors performed a partial removal of her kidney. However, the cancer spread to her lymph nodes, a rare occurrence called kidney translocation carcinoma. After additional surgery and the full removal of the problem kidney, Hetzel’s condition stabilized and now she is making it a goal to spread kidney disease awareness.
“I am down to one kidney, but I am feeling good,” she said. “It was after my surgery that I learned about the Kidney Walk while I was looking to see if there were any organizations dedicated to helping those with kidney translocation carcinoma or other kidney diseases.”
“I walk to raise awareness because even people at a young age can have kidney problems,” Hetzel said. “That’s a big misconception out there, and I know, kidney disease can happen to someone young as well as old.”