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Adam Cogar: “No matter what you face or go through, never look back. Keep your eyes on your goals, hopes and dreams, and you will succeed”

I would also like to recognize my sister who I received my transplant kidney from. If it wasn’t for her, I would probably not be here today. She helped me achieve my hopes, dreams and goals. Because of her, I have had the ability to help others in times of crisis or need in their […]

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I would also like to recognize my sister who I received my transplant kidney from. If it wasn’t for her, I would probably not be here today. She helped me achieve my hopes, dreams and goals. Because of her, I have had the ability to help others in times of crisis or need in their lives. I have used my life experiences to educate others with health-related issues similar to mine.

I had a new lease on life. I began going to college where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice. I have also acquired a K-12 teaching certificate through RESA which I utilized at multiple grade levels. I have also acquired a license as an Emergency Medical Technician and most recently have acquired a Federal Communications Corp. General class Amateur Radio Operators license and Examiner.


Asa part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Cogar.

Adam Cogar is a 43-year-old man from Webster Springs, WV, living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and uncontrolled gout. Adam has struggled with CKD for years after first being diagnosed with kidney failure as a teenager.

In 1997, Adam underwent a kidney transplant, donated by his late sister. Despite the transplant and an additional weight loss surgery, he still experienced pain daily and never felt fully healthy. He continued to search for answers before finally being seen by a rheumatologist, who checked his uric acid levels and diagnosed him with gout.

Adam suffered from symptoms of gout for 15 years, and experienced painful, debilitating flares almost every day. At its worst, gout made him feel as though he wasn’t allowed to live his life. Since finding a treatment that works for him, Adam says he can be present in his family life again, even hiking regularly with his 8-year-old son. Adam hopes his story will help others with CKD to recognize their risk of developing gout.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Myname is Adam Cogar and I am 43 years old. At the age of 13, I was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Over the next 9 years, I received peritoneal dialysis at my family’s home. After graduating from high school, I was placed on the kidney transplant list. At this point, the physicians told me that I had not months, but weeks, to live. Three weeks after receiving this news, my sister was involved in a horseback riding accident and passed away. I subsequently received her kidney as we were nearly a perfect match and here I am 23 years later.

Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story of how you became ill? What did you do to not let that “stop you”?

Following my kidney transplant, I began experiencing excruciating pain which I thought was due to being overweight or the steroids and rejection medication I was on from my kidney transplant. My elbows were nearly the size of baseballs, fingers were comparable in size to small grapes and my feet burned as if I was walking on a bed of hot coals. I continued searching for answers for this pain because I knew it was not normal and was diagnosed with chronic gout by my rheumatologist. Now my focus is on managing both chronic kidney disease and chronic gout.

Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your disability or illness?

After receiving my sister’s kidney, I had a new lease on life. I began going to college where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice. I have also acquired a K-12 teaching certificate through RESA which I utilized at multiple grade levels. I have also acquired a license as an Emergency Medical Technician and most recently have acquired a Federal Communications Corp. General class Amateur Radio Operators license and Examiner.

What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?

Having these life experiences over the course of my lifetime I would advise other people with disabilities or limitations to never let that stop them from achieving their hopes, goals and dreams in life.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I would also like to recognize my sister who I received my transplant kidney from. If it wasn’t for her, I would probably not be here today. She helped me achieve my hopes, dreams and goals. Because of her, I have had the ability to help others in times of crisis or need in their lives. I have used my life experiences to educate others with health-related issues similar to mine.

Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.

  1. People with physical limitations are no different than people without physical limitations in that they have goals and aspirations, even though they may have accomplished them in a different way.
  2. People with physical limitations can achieve the same goals as those without.
  3. People with physical limitations have to rely more on their cognitive and physical adaptability rather than being able to depend on their developmental growth.
  4. People with physical limitations may have to rely upon adaptive equipment for assistance to achieve some of their goals.
  5. People with physical limitations may have to have support persons to assist them in their process with reaching goals.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

My life lesson quote is “No matter what you face or go through, never look back. Keep your eyes on your goals, hopes and dreams, and you will succeed.”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this.

The person that I would most like to have a private breakfast or lunch with would be Tim Walbert, President and CEO of Horizon Therapeutics. I chose Mr. Walbert because of the way he has used his personal experiences to overcome his own medical conditions and achieve success.

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