In 2008, at age 50, Juan Enrique Guevara of Veracruz, Mexico, was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, or irreversible kidney failure. The diagnosis took him by surprise, as he'd never experienced symptoms of renal failure before. Guevara, a former professional soccer player, went to the doctor after having chest pains while training with the soccer team he both owns and coaches.
With end-stage renal disease, Guevara's kidneys were no longer capable of filtering waste, toxins and excess water from the blood. He had two treatment options: dialysis or transplant. Given the shortage of donor kidneys available for transplant, Guevara went on dialysis, which cleanses the blood in lieu of functioning kidneys.
There are two main forms of dialysis: peritoneal dialysis (PD), a home-based therapy, and hemodialysis, which generally takes place in a hospital or clinic. In PD, the patient's peritoneal cavity acts as a filter through which special solutions, infused though a catheter in the patient's abdomen, can cleanse toxins from the body daily. In hemodialysis, patients spend approximately four hours a day, three days a week, in a hospital or clinic while a machine slowly draws the blood from the body, cleans it and returns it. Given his active lifestyle, Guevara opted for PD, a therapy that Baxter helped pioneer and for which the company remains a leading provider of products and services worldwide.
After his diagnosis, Guevara went on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), the manual form of the therapy in which patients manually infuse PD solution into their peritoneal cavity and drain the used solution and waste products from their system several times a day.
"I performed solution exchanges four times a day," Guevara says. "After three months, I decided that automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) might be more convenient because it's done at night, and I began using Baxter's HOMECHOICE APD system."
Baxter's HOMECHOICE APD system infuses fresh PD solution and drains used solution overnight, usually while the patient sleeps. Guevara says APD therapy "gave me my life back."
Founder, president and coach of Coyotes Jalapa, Guevara trains with the players five days a week in preparation for their weekly Saturday games. "At my age I don´t have the same energy the guys do because they are very young. But I train with them because I like to exercise."
Guevara has always led a busy life. He finished law school in 1988 and received a master's degree in psychology in 1993, a year before he founded Coyotes Jalapa. He also owns a small company that manufactures gym shoes and enjoys spending time with his wife of 25 years, Maria Antonia, and Enrique, his 16-year-old son.
"With PD, I'm able to work, train with my team, spend time with my family, and not think about my disease," Guevara says.
Juan hopes to soon be off dialysis. Maria Antonia is going to give him one of her kidneys. They are preparing for a kidney transplant this spring.