Thank you! I want to thank you for your time and attention. You being here means a lot to me as I am searching for someone willing to help me through an incredibly difficult health crisis. Learning more about you would be a welcomed meeting. My curiosity leads me to wonder what kind of love brought you to my campaign; what depth of spirit causes you to spend time learning about mycondition. I appreciate you and thank you for coming. Recently I learned that my kidneys are failing and soon I will need either a transplant or dialysis treatments. Many people in my condition end up registered on the transplant list of which there are so many that now the list hosts over 100,000 people. Every year thousands die while waiting on that list because they never receive a call saying a compatible donor was found. They simply die waiting. As a social scientist, educator, mentor and activist I believed there had to be a better way of connecting with the life saving donor I need in order to avoid being part of that statistical group. Of course the first place I was compelled to come was to social media. It has been a remarkable tool in bringing people together for good reasons. Limitations were something I forced myself to overcome from the time I was a young man. Initially I wasn't focused. Although I came of age in the cyclone of war, civil rights and a changing nation, I failed to adequately appreciate the zigiest in which I was living until one day I was inspired by the writings of James Baldwin in his riveting book, Go Tell It On The Mountain. Somehow his words shook me awake and I began studying and applying myself feverishly. From then to now I haven't stopped weighing in and making a positive contribution both in my profession and in my community. My feelings are strong on the matter of helping; they are basically strong and simple. I believe we MUST HELP when it is in our power to do so. Do you believe that also? If so, will you help me? Will you be my life saving donor?
My wonderful wife of 47 years and I have decided that I am not going to succumb to chronic kidney disease (CKD) without literally putting up the fight of my life - that means to share with you the stifling agony I am enduring as a result of this disease. Basically my kidneys are failing. Soon they will not be working well enough to keep me alive. My desire is to live and not die and according to my research, with your help that is a real possibility since we now have scientific evidence proving that human beings can live their life span with one healthy kidney. Furthermore if you decide to help me you will go through a testing process and if we are a match, you will be assigned a team dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best care possible through the procedure which by the way is done by a laparoscopic incision leaving only a two or three inch mark and requiring only two or three days recovery time. The procedure is deemed medically safe and in a short amount of time you can resume your life wearing the noble description of the Life Saving Donor. Over 5000 people last year chose to wear that description. It is reserved for a rare few and I hope that you chose to join the club of living donors by saying YES you will be my donor. Please! My blood type is B+ and I am listed at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA.
My blood type is B+ and I am listed at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA, but you can donate wherever your are in the country.
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Ask A Doctor:
Lloyd Ratner, MD, Director, Renal and Pancreatic Transplant Program, tells prospective patients, kidney donors, and families what they need to know about kidney donation and transplantation. In this direct and engaging presentation, Dr. Ratner provides a wealth of information about the advantages of living donor kidney donation; laparoscopic and open surgical techniques; what donors and recipients should expect during and after surgery; post-operative pain and followup; and post-donation pregnancy.
Learn about living-donor kidney transplant at UPMC first-hand, and discover the greatest gift Eileen ever gave her godson, Anthony.
"I donated a kidney to my dad September 15, 2015 at the University of Colorado. Hands down the best experience of my life thus far! Grateful to have shared this experience with dad as well as many memories to come! I still lead an active, healthy life and am eager to become an advocate for living donation for Wyoming.
God is so good, without Him this would not have happened!" - Shea (Living Kidney Donor)
Living-Kidney Donation Frequently Asked Questions
Answers about living-donation for anyone thinking about becoming a kidney donor.
Kidney transplantation is the best way known to save a person's life after he or she develops kidney failure. In the past, kidneys were only taken from living close relatives or from people who had recently died. Transplants from living donors have a better chance of success than those from deceased donors. Also, the waiting time for a cadaver kidney can be as long as 4 years in the United States. For this reason, more people are making the decision to become kidney donors.
Who can become a kidney donor?
A living donor needs to be:
- In good general health.
- Free from diseases that can damage the organs, such as diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or cancer.
- At least 18 years old, typically.
What steps should I take to become a kidney donor?
If you decide to become a kidney donor, samples of your blood will be drawn for testing, including your blood type and other genetic information (which may include HLA type) to see how well you match the recipient. These tests may be repeated before the surgery if you decide to become a donor.
If your blood tests are good, you will meet with social workers at the transplant facility to discuss other obligations. You will be given information, such as how much time you will need to take off from work and details of surgery and the recovery process, that will help you make an informed decision. Your meetings with the social work team will be strictly confidential.
When will I meet with a doctor?
After you have decided to become a kidney donor and your crossmatch results are known, you will be evaluated by a doctor, usually a nephrologist. Your evaluation will begin with a medical history and physical exam. You will have a series of lab tests to screen for kidney function, including chemistry screen, urinalysis, and urine tests for protein. You may also have a CT scan of the kidneys to evaluate your kidneys, urinary tract, and other structures in your pelvis.
What is involved in kidney transplant surgery?
You will be given a general anesthetic before your surgery. Until recently, the removal of a kidney required an 8 in. (20.3 cm) to 9 in. (22.9 cm) incision on one side of the body (flank). Now, laparoscopy is usually used to remove the donor kidney. Advantages of laparoscopic kidney removal include less pain, shorter hospital stays, a more rapid return to normal activities, and a smaller, less noticeable scar.
What are the risks of becoming a kidney donor?
Removing a kidney from your body involves major surgery. There is a risk of complications from surgery, such as pain, infection, pneumonia, and bleeding.
A person can live with only one healthy kidney. But doctors are learning that donating a kidney may increase the chance of certain health problems in the years after the donation. More research is being done to better understand the long-term risks.
Donating an organ can affect you and your family. Many emotional issues are involved. There may be costs such as travel expenses and lost wages. And organ donation may affect your insurance coverage.
If you are thinking about donating a kidney, your medical team will help you understand the pros and cons so you can make the decision that's right for you.
What limitations will I have after I have donated a kidney?
Donating a kidney will not cause any limitations in your normal daily activities. After the recovery from your surgery, you will be able to resume all of your normal activities, including exercising and participating in sports.
Donating a kidney will not affect your ability to become pregnant, carry a child to term, or father a child. If a woman has donated a kidney, her risk for preeclampsia or high blood pressure during a pregnancy may be higher.
Who pays my hospital costs?
In the United States, your medical costs will be covered by the recipient's medical insurance. Most insurance companies cover 100% of the medical costs of a transplant, including pretransplant evaluations and lab tests. If the recipient does not have medical insurance, your medical costs will be covered by Medicare.
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