1.) What is your age? 5
2.) Do you have children or grandchildren? 1 adopted so
3.) How long have you been married? 19 year
4.) Are you on Dialysis Currently? Ye
5.) What type of Dialysis do you currently conduct? Hemodialysi
6.) What emotional toll has Kidney Failure had on you? It has drained me emotionally and mentally that has cut out a lot of my family time. It's been difficult to maintain friendships because of being sick so much that I can't spend time with friends. I used to be very involved with my church and have had to cut back because I don't have the strength which makes me sad that I can't help out as much as I did.
7.) If you could talk to someone who is interested in donating to you, what would you say? First, thank you to anyone who is even considering onating a kidney to me. Second, I promise to you and to my family that I will do everything I must do to be healthy. This is a gift from you and I want to let you know I will never take it for granted, ever. This is a second chance for me and for my family and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and won't let you down. I have already taken steps to make sure that I am fully ready for a transplant, which is losing over 100 pounds, keeping my diabetes in line and all of my kidney numbers are in a good range. May God bless you!
8.) What is your blood type?
9.) Where are you listed (name of Transplant Center)? Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, Indian
10.) Once you receive your Kidney, what do you plan on doing with your future? First, I plan to make up lost time with my family. I want to let them know that I am so grateful for their love and support over the year. Second, get back to the volunteer I once was at church. I have received a lot of help and I need to return that! Third, I want to get back to work and support my family. I used to have my own business and I want to reopen that business. I want to be a success for my family!
11.) What happened that caused you to need a Kidney Transplant? Diabete
12.) Do you have a specific religion or religious affiliation? Methodis
13.) How has Kidney Failure/Dialysis impacted your quality of life? It has altered every phase of my life, family, friends, faith and work. I try to stay positive, but there are days when it overwhelms me and it's hard to just move. It can be draining not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, especially when I'm too tired to do things and it means my family either doesn't go to an event or has to go without me. I hate being the reason for my family not doing things they love.
14.) What is the first thing that you plan on doing after you have recovered from your Kidney Transplant Surgery? If allowed, I plan on giving my donor a big hug and thank him/her for their amazing gift! After that, take my family on a vacation to see family and friends that we have not seen in a long time.
A Note From Anthony:
Thank you for expressing interest and showing your support of my need for a living kidney donor.
I am listed at Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, Indian and I would like you to know that the process of living kidney donation is safe, and if you or someone you know would like to donate, then please send me a message (below). Thanks again!
Hear From An Expert:
Kidney transplant recipient Kelly Belgrave and her lifelong friend, now fiancée Netfa Rickets tell the story of how Netfa became a living donor and donated one of his kidneys to Kelly, when her kidneys began to fail due to diabetes. Visit Anthony Needs a Kidney - https://www.facebook.com/anthonyneedsakidney/
A Note From Kim, Anthony's Wife:
"I wanted to pass along an update on my husband.
When Anthony was diagnosed with CKD and had to go on dialysis, he weighed close to 350 lbs. He's 6'4. But even being that tall, the weight was a big factor in not feeling well. Anthony did everything he could to get his weight down to be ready for the transplant whenever that happened. Here are before/after pictures of Anthony at close to the heaviest he has ever been and now. I'm so proud of him that he is doing what he needs to be ready for the transplant. In fact, Anthony used to own an insurance claims business but had to give it up due to the disease. Now that Anthony has lost weight and really focusing on his health, he felt good enough to try and get back to work. He decided to get certified to become a housing inspector so he could arrange his schedule to work with dialysis. He went to Colorado on Sunday to get certified. Unfortunately, even with really focusing on his health, Anthony had a setback on Monday. During his training, Anthony got sick and had bad back cramps. He was admitted to the hospital on Monday evening with a kidney infection. It scared me especially since I was not with him. Anthony was by himself. I'm happy to say he was released on Tuesday, but he missed training Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday. Now he has to work even harder to catch up in training. Anthony is trying to keep a positive attitude and push forward with training. Dialysis had to be changed and he will miss most of Thursday's training so he can continue. It's like you take one step forward and then 100 steps backward with this disease. I am so proud of Anthony trying to get back to work which I believe will help him mentally, emotionally and physically. I pray that a donor will help Anthony. God bless! Thank you!"
“If it can help someone, my goodness yes, do it. What’s the downside?” - Marc (Living Kidney Donor)
Marc is a pragmatic man. A former venture capitalist and the current executive vice president of the Steadman Hawkins Research Foundation, Marc didn’t get where he is today by letting emotion rule the day. To Marc, life is about analyzing the facts and making a decision accordingly. Nothing more. “But, there are times one has to say, ‘What the heck? Go for it,’” he says.
So when his older brother needed a kidney, Marc gave him one, and he did it without a ton of emotion or debate.
“If you see someone standing in front of a dangerous situation, you do something to stop impending disaster,” Marc said matter-of-factly. “It’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Marc’s older brother, Alexander, was diagnosed with kidney disease before he was old enough to walk. Back then, the doctors told Alexander’s parents he probably wouldn’t live to enter kindergarten. But he did. Then the doctors said he wouldn’t live to see his 10th birthday. But he did.
The ominous predictions continued, but his will to live always won out. As medications advanced, Alexander was able to control his disease without dialysis. As children, Alexander’s three brothers probably didn’t know that Alexander’s health—even his ability to live one year longer—was so precarious. “I don’t think that we were ever fully aware of that. We just knew our brother was sick,” Marc recalled.
When Marc was about 12, he remembers telling his brother he would give him a kidney if he ever needed one. Thirty-two years later, in August 1996, Alexander took him up on that offer.
By now Alexander’s kidneys had deteriorated to the point where it was clear he might not survive without a new kidney. Marc immediately asked to be tested to see if he would be a match.
“It was just a no-brainer,” Marc said. Even back then, he didn’t really see it as that big of a deal.
“This is just one of the things I’ve got going on in the next couple of weeks,” Marc recalled thinking. “I’ve got meetings, a new business venture, a new home and other things I’m doing as well.”
Marc was a match—which he always sensed he would be—and the surgery was scheduled. Before the operation, Marc was in great physical health, and his brother obviously wasn’t. For a short time, the surgery flip-flopped that. Now Marc was recovering from major surgery, but Alexander was immediately feeling better because he had a new kidney that was doing its job. But that didn’t last.
About six months after the surgery, Alexander developed complications with one of his medications, and began to have some rejection reactions. The doctors were advising that he get rid of the donated kidney and go on dialysis. He called Marc and asked for his opinion. It was his kidney, after all.
“It’s yours now. You can do what you want with it,” Marc recalled telling his brother. Together they assessed different treatment options that could be done while preserving the donated kidney. Ultimately, Alexander’s condition improved. That was nearly 13 years ago. Today, Alexander is retired and living with his wife in Florida.
Marc said he never really suffered any effects as a result of donating one kidney. An avid bicyclist and skier before and after surgery, he says nothing has changed in his life. Marc doesn’t think too often about his choice to give his brother a kidney. Occasionally, he’s reminded by the scar, but even in retrospect, the decision was simple. And he hopes others will consider doing the same.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can be a donor?
To qualify as a living donor, an individual must be in good health, free from any serious medical problems and between the ages of 21 and 60.
What are the risks involved?
Donating a kidney does not have any long-term effect on health. Donors may experience a slight rise in blood pressure and a small amount of excess protein in the urine following surgery. There is no greater risk of developing kidney failure after donating at kidney than anyone in the general population.
Are there activities that I will not be able to do in the future if I choose to donate a kidney?
In general, donating a kidney does not have any long-term effect on health. Some restrictions do apply following donor surgery, including reducing or eliminating the use of NSAIDS and avoiding any activity that may cause injury to the surgical area.
Does the evaluation process have to be completed at Penn?
The entire evaluation process is completed at Penn; however, if the prospective donor lives at a distance, arrangements can be made for some of the initial screening to be done at the donor's location.
Who makes the final decision on potential donors?
Based on the evaluation results, the Transplant team (comprised of nephrologists, nurses, social workers, dieticians and other transplant specialists) decides whether or not to proceed with a living donor kidney transplant as the best therapeutic option.
Who pays for the donor's medical expenses?
The recipient's insurance covers all of the donor's evaluation and hospitalization costs; however, it does not cover lost income, transportation costs or personal expenses. The transplant financial advisor reviews the potential donor/recipient procedures and associated costs carefully prior to the evaluation.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Most donors remain in the hospital for two to three days.
What is the recovery process like?
Most kidney donors resume normal activities four to six weeks after surgery. Donors are not able to drive for three to four weeks after discharge and are not permitted to lift heavy objects. You may need assistance with daily living activities during this time.
How long will I be out of work?
Depending on the nature of the work, donors typically return to work between 10 days and two weeks.
What happens if I decide not to become a living liver donor?
At any point, for any reason, the evaluation process can be stopped. The recipient will remain active on the transplant list and is free to find another potential living donor.
Chief Medical Officer (United Network for Organ Sharing) Dr. David Klassen (Nephrologist) said in a Huffington Post article, "I’ve also witnessed the results of the severe organ shortage in this country. Too often I’ve lost patients because the organ they needed did not come in time. Too many lives cut short. Too many dreams unlived." The following are a few very sobering stats which Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should share as well as their loved ones:
90,000 - The number of Dialysis patients that die every year according to Renal and Urology News.
121,076 - The number of people currently waiting for a lifesaving organ in the United States, as reported by the United Network for Organ Sharing.
100,269 - The number of patients awaiting a Kidney Transplant specifically. This suggests that approximately 80.9% of the entire organ transplant waiting list is made of individuals in need of a kidney. It is important to note that living kidney donation is very safe and if found to be a match, a donor would undergo a rigorous health evaluation before donating to ensure good long-term health outcomes.
22 - The number of people who die every single day, waiting for a transplant.
4,500 - The number of Chronic Kidney Disease patients that die every year waiting for a kidney transplant, as noted by the Living Kidney Donor Network.
6 - The number of people added to the transplant wait list every hour, reported by Huffington Post.
0 (zero) - The number of major religions that are against their members donating an organ. All major organized religions in the United States are favorable of organ and tissue donation and most likely consider it an act of charity.
Take A Moment To Learn What A Difference You Could Make:
The Need For Living Kidney Donors
“There are about 90,000 people waiting for kidney transplants in the United States,” says Dr. Gibney. “There are about 14,000 kidney transplants a year. Each year, more people are in need of organs and get added to that list.
So that’s one of the things that makes living donation so important is that there’s a fairly limited supply of organs. If there are friends or family members who can give, that can save lives and really extend people’s lives by years and years.
If you would like to share Anthony's story via your publication, then please send a direct message below.