I've been catching hell lately trying to deal effectively with the serious issues on my plate such as managing dialysis and recovering from my divorce after 20 years of marriage. It's been quite a bit to navigate through, but I'm finding my way. One reason things feel like they are getting better is because I have grown closer to God and I am able to turn the things I cannot control over to him. Most of my life I have lived with hypertension (high blood pressure) which most people don't know is the second leading cause of kidney damage; diabetes is the first major cause of it and sadly, I struggle with that too. Together, my kidneys failed and the sicker I became the lonelier I was. My condition runs in our family and others have been affected by it. Suffering is in my DNA.
Struggling to survive is also a large part of who I am and I don't plan on quitting now. I WANT TO LIVE AND AM DOING MY BEST TO REMAIN ALIVE. I'm 48 years old with a son and a little sweet granddaughter. Every grandfather says the same thing about their grandchild, but mine is honestly the sweetest; - well maybe I am a little biased. My support systems are strong and I have come this far appreciating them with all my heart. One person has gone through testing on by behalf already to determine whether or not they were a compatible match for donation, but it was not to be, so I have come here to you to ask you to test on my behalf and see if we are compatible matches.
I am asking you for your help in this matter because I am young enough and in good enough condition that I can continue living my life with a transplant and if you become my donor you will not be shortening your lifespan, you'll simply be saving my life. There is an abundance of evidence showing and in fact proving that human beings can live their lifespan with just one healthy kidney. This information is the primary reason so many people are saying YES to being living donors. Many thousands volunteered to be altruistic donors in past years, saving thousands of lives. It is a true blessing and a gift from God for human beings to share the Gift of Life with someone who like me will otherwise die.
The technology exists for it to be done with only a few days recovery time for the donor. Is that not AMAZING? You have the power to save my life and free me from dialysis; give me back time that I can use to guide and help protect the life of my grandchild; maybe I might be so lucky as to be alive to greet others. Your donation will allow me an opportunity to put some good into this world and help folks who again like me are suffering.
Everything I do with my life after your Gift of Life will be a testament to your generosity and kindness. You would not just be saving me, you would be saving all those whom I help in my lifetime. I am asking you to please read this and think about it. Think about me. And then help me. Test for me. Please. Leave a message where I can reach you and we'll talk in more detail about it.
I always wanted to travel and I think I am going to do that after a successful transplant; I want to take a swim too. These are some of life's luxuries that I have been prevented from doing because of my condition. To some it may seem trivial, but to me it's my dream. To take a swim will be an all out joy. Please help me.
My blood type is O and I am listed at St. Luke's Transplant Center.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
- How can I become a living renal donor and what are the qualifications?
- How does living donation affect the donor?
- What are my rights as a donor?
- What are the advantages of living donation?
- What are the potential risks involved in living donation?
- What are the surgical techniques available to remove the donor’s kidney?
- What does the evaluation consist of?
- Who can be a living donor?
- Who pays for the renal evaluation and the surgery?
A message from Patricia Comito (a Living Kidney Donor):
"Ok, here's my story. Feel free to share. My sister died of breast cancer. There was nothing anyone could do to help her. It was a blow to my life and my heart. I decided that I would never sit and watch another person die if I could help it. 4 years later, my friend had to make a choice of dialysis or death. I said no, I would donate. The donor only needs to notify a nephrologist (kidney specialist) that they want to donate, and the testing begins. Blood tests, ultrasounds, even a psychological exam. Not everyone passes these tests. It could be something as simple as gestational diabetes, or melanoma, that will keep you from being a donor.
Once you are cleared the search begins. They match genetics, etc... (Very complicated) blood tests continue on a quarterly basis. If you have a cold, your situation could change and you will need to be cleared again. So, after 6 very long months, my recipient was found. Then the friend of mine had to be matched. A recipient for me was found and then got very sick so he was dropped down the list. 2 months later another recipient was found. Surgery was scheduled. My friend received his kidney and 5 days later I went through surgery. My kidney went to someone in Las Vegas. The surgery is done through a scope so there is only one bigger scar and 3 small holes. The bigger scar is below the navel and is where they bring the kidney through. They always take the Left kidney because it has a longer tube.
Recovery was not so bad, although very uncomfortable for about 4 days. I was back at work within a month. Today I am 6 1/2 years since surgery. My body cannot even tell I had surgery and I'm as healthy as ever. The only thing that is different is that my creatinine is a little high. It always will be but the one kidney that I have has grown in size to help take over for the one gone. I cannot take ibuprofen unless I absolutely have to, otherwise, everything is great. To be called a hero, or an "exceptional human being" is really nice, but really I'm just another person that was willing to help someone in need. My recipient is still going like crazy. Was told by his doctor (Dr. Veale) he would never die from his kidney. They had a perfect match.
Every once in a while I look at my scar and question myself if I could would I do it again.....and my answer is always yes. That's the biggest thing, you have to have a positive attitude. A wanting to help. And never a moment of questioning. Not everyone can do it. But it's soooo easy, everyone should! And.....Dr. Veale is fantastic, so is the team at UCLA."