PHOENIX — A Valley man’s donation of giving a kidney to a family member in need became the inspiration to create a valley-based seasoning business.
One of the first things Bryan Wright did on 2-22-22 was text his cousin Ryan Alarie ‘Happy Kidney Day.’
“2/22 was the day my life was saved,” said Bryan Wright over a Zoom call from his San Diego home.
Tuesday marked the six-year anniversary of when Ryan donated a kidney to his cousin Bryan.
“I didn’t realize how sick I was because it was a slow decline,” said Bryan.
Bryan had a rare kidney condition called polycystic kidney disease or PKD.
It’s a genetic disorder where clusters of cysts can develop on kidneys which can cause them to lose function over time.
Several family members have suffered from this condition.
If a patient is not aware of the condition, an unhealthy diet can lead to other serious illnesses including heart disease or diabetes.
“Keeping blood pressure down is a big thing to protect the kidney,” Bryan said.
At 26 years old, Ryan was tested and discovered he was a match for his cousin Bryan, who was in his late 40s at the time.
The average wait time for a kidney transplant depends on various factors such as illness severity, blood types, and other patients waiting.
According to kidney.org, the average time frame for a kidney transplant can be from three to five years at most medical facilities, sometimes longer in underserved regions of the country.
Today, Ryan’s scar from the surgery is barely visible from a distance. Bryan said when he woke up he felt like he was in his 20s again.
The recovery for Ryan called for a healthy diet, so when he prepares food, he made his own low-sodium seasoning.
One day, he bottled up some zesty garlic and some cilantro jalapeno lime seasoning and sought to sell it at a local market.
“We were pretty surprised how much we sold that day,” said Ryan.
That’s how RA Seasoning was born.
The 32-year-old now is his own boss as the founder and creator of RA Seasoning, working full time on making and distributing his low-sodium, gluten-free blending of herbs and spices.
You can find the 17 blends started out of Tempe sold at Valley farmer’s markets, restaurants, and bakeries.
The seasoning was even best local food product for 2019 and 2020 by ‘Best of the Valley.’
“I think our favorite one is everything bagel,” said Bryan holding up the seasoning to show the camera over a zoom call.
When Bryan sprinkles the seasoning, he’s thankful to not be stressing about his health and instead be able to enjoy a meal with those who matter most.
“Ryan saved their kids’ dad, and he saved my wife’s husband, my parents’ son…,” he said.
When asked if Ryan was a “salt of the earth kind of guy,” Bryan said, “yeah, but minus the salt.”