Patient Takes Control of His Health, Enjoys Life and Plans for the Future

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From diabetes to dialysis, Michael Torres of Tucson, Ariz., won’t let anything slow him down.

“The key things are my diet and fluids and going to all my appointments and regular checkups,” Torres said.

In 2016, after managing his diabetes for more than 20 years, Torres’s kidneys began to fail.

“When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I was in a state of depression,” he said. “I thought I was healthy and suddenly I felt my life was over, but I’ve learned to take care of myself and keep going.”

Now on dialysis, Torres remains a shop foreman and diesel truck mechanic because his employer created a flexible schedule to accommodate his dialysis treatments.

“I have been blessed to work for 27 years with JoAnn Miller at Saguaro Trucking and they all treat me like family,” he said. “They watch over me and make sure I go to all my doctor appointments and dialysis treatments. They told me that whatever I have to do they can deal with it.”

Torres’ positive attitude and active life motivate him every day.

“I look at my life totally different now,” he said. “My life used to feel like running straight through a tunnel, but now I feel like I’ve had a second chance and I want to appreciate all the little pieces of my life.”

“It’s like the flowers on the side of road that you’ve never seen, but they’ve always been there,” Torres said. “Maybe I don’t stop, but I’ve slowed down some and now I notice them.”

With the support of his family, coworkers and the team at Fresenius Kidney Care Northwest Tucson, Torres continues to enjoy his favorite activities — hunting, fishing, and being with his family — and he hopes to get a kidney transplant someday soon.

In honor of National Diabetes Month, we recognize the commitment of our patients like Michael Torres to thrive and inspire others to do the same.