Matt Hague urges people to check for kidney disease. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Bendigo father Matt Hague reckons he’s lucky to be under the supervision of the staff at Bendigo Health.
While suffering from chronic kidney disease, the 41-year-old has had to undergo dialysis, for five hours three times a week.
But the factor that keeps him sane is the diligent and caring staff.
“The staff here are legends, they have a great sense of humour. They’re extremely personable as well as being great clinicians,” he said.
“And because I work, if there is a room available they’ll put me in so that I can use my computer.
“This afternoon for example I have a video conference booked for two hours.”
Mr Hague said he’s lucky he has a helpful employer in Bendigo Kangan Institute and that he can work at a desk.
“People often think that people on dialysis are elderly or unemployed but you still have to earn a living,” he said.
“I have two children, 14 and 15, and I know they worry about me when I get really sick.”
He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when he was a young man and in a car accident.
“It was only because they did tests when I was in hospital that it was discovered I had PKD, which is a hereditary disease,” Mr Hague said.
“I pretty much ignored the diagnosis until at 38 I found I was always tired, I’d sleep all weekend.”
Mr Hague said he now feels much better and is waiting for a kidney transplant. The average wait time is four years.
“That’s the average time. I may only have to wait another year it may be six years, you can never be certain,” he said.
“The worst thing about the dialysis is that you can never be spontaneous.
“I’d love to travel more with my wife and children but we always have to be near a dialysis unit.”
As it’s Kidney Health Week, Mr Hague would like to encourage people to make sure they have regular kidney function tests as part of their medical check ups and to also consider organ
donation.
www.kidney.org.au