Great news for Selena Gomez that she was able to receive a Kidney Transplant with what appears to be a very short wait and never having to begin Dialysis. While all members of the Chronic Kidney Disease Community are always thrilled when a person - especially an individual as young as Selena - receives a Kidney Transplant, it does cause speculation and concern that those who are celebrities, wealthy, and well-known seem to get kidneys much faster than the average Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patient (average wait time is 5 to 7 years nationally). If so, with nearly 5,000 patients dying each year without ever getting a call from the list, is this fair?
Please note that in no way are we suggesting that Selena Gomez is or has ever endorsed this program.
Whenever someone rich and famous receives a transplant, suspicions inevitably arise about whether that person managed to jump to the head of the waiting list and take an organ that might have saved the life of somebody just as desperate but less glamorous. Several studies have found that this is in fact not true. For instance, Selena received her Kidney Transplant as a heart-warming gift from a kind and generous long-time friend, Francia Raisa (an Actress).
Although individuals who served as Living Kidney Donors are always given priority if they should ever need a kidney transplant after donating which is very rare, no one can "jump" the list - not even the President of the United States. However, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients who are rich and/or famous do have advantages to getting a Kidney Transplant sooner than most because they have the resources to list at multiple centers, access to the latest information, connections with the best doctors, many loyal fans who would be willing to serve as donors, and wide-spread media coverage. These advantages are enhanced the wealthier or more recognizable a Chronic Kidney Disease patient is.
That said, the average Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patient can help to even the playing-field by sharing his/her need for a Kidney Transplant via online and offline strategies to help meet selfless Living Kidney Donors. If only 0.5% of the adults in the United States donated a kidney, it would wipeout the list 15 times over, according to UCLA. Hence, your kind-hearted donor is likely out there - you just have to find him/her. A few ideas are as follows:
- Sign up for the Find A Kidney Donor Program and create a large online footprint to meet potential Living Kidney Donors (click here).
- Create a video discussing your need for a Living Kidney Donor to avoid or get off of Dialysis.
- Do not be afraid to ask family and friends to get tested on your behalf. Do not ask over-and-over because you do not want to pressure them.
- Contact your local paper or City Hall to place your need in publications being sent out in your area.
- Ask local coffee shops and diners to post a flier on your behalf about your need for a Living Kidney Donor.
- Write a short paragraph about your need for a Kidney Transplant and ask 5 to 10 friends to share it via social media and/or email.
Recommended Reading: ESRD Patients Who Work Full-Time Are “Much More Likely” To Receive Kidney Transplant
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