1. Age 50.
2. No children or grandchildren
3. Not married.
4. On Dialysis.
5. On PD (Cycler).
6. Kidney failure has prevented me from enjoying things I like to do.
7. By donating you will be giving your recipient another chance to live life and enjoy doing what they love doing.
8. Blood type O.
9. I am listed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
10. After receiving a new kidney I plan on encouraging people to become a Living Donor and if I receive one soon I plan on taking a trip in the summer of 2018.
11. Foculsegmental sclerosis.
12. Hans is Lutheran.
13. Hans suffers from Chronic Fatigue.
Hear From An Expert:
Charles Rosen, MD, transplant surgeon at Mayo Clinic, discusses living liver donation, including the evaluation process, risks, and recovery. Liver transplantation enables recipients to enjoy prolonged survival with an excellent quality of life. Unfortunately, there aren't enough deceased donor livers for everyone in need.
A Note From Hans:
Thank you for expressing interest and showing your support of my need for a living kidney donor.
I am listed at the University of Pennsylvania. However, you can begin the simple donation process anywhere in the country. 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 contact my transplant center at 800-789-7366.
For further questions, please send me a message (below). Thanks again!
This is probably the most difficult letter I’ve written. You see, I am a 50-year-old man in need of a kidney transplant, and I need to let my friends and family know about my condition. I am not only hoping to find a living donor but also hoping that I can make more people aware that there are many people in the same position I am in.
I went on the kidney transplant waiting list 22 months ago.
Kidney disease runs in my family. Aside from my kidneys I am in good health. I’ve been very active in my community, volunteering at my Church and at the local school. I’ve had more than 10 people genuinely offer to be tested to donate – but almost all of them had the wrong blood type and several were ruled out for health reasons.
I am pursuing a living donor for two main reasons, (but there are many others,) kidneys from living donors last, on average, twice as long as kidneys from deceased donors and the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney could be more than 5 years. Most people can donate who don’t have high blood pressure, cardiac problems or some other medical condition.
Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:
We are born with an extra kidney – you only need one to live a full, healthy, long life.
The majority of the donor surgery is done laproscopically, with tiny incisions.
The recuperation period is generally 2 weeks for those with a desk job and 6 weeks for those whose job entails heavy lifting.
The surgery would be done at a hospital that has some of the best surgeons in the country.
All medical expenses would be paid by my insurance benefits.
Most donors say if they had another extra kidney they would donate again in a heartbeat and that it is one of the best experiences of their life.
Would you please consider giving the Gift of Love and hope? Please call me and I will send you an information packet that will help you make a well-informed decision. Or, if you would like to explore this in more detail before you let me know about your decision, you could call the ABC Hospital and ask for Sue Smith, my Transplant Coordinator. You could let them know about your interest in being a living donor to one of their patients, and you will not have to disclose my name at this time.
Thanks for your support and concern
“I’m hoping to educate people about the donation process from the donor's perspective. I had so many questions about what my life would look like post donation and it was very difficult to find answers.” - Allyssa Bates
Why You Should Consider Being A Living Kidney Donor:
The kidney transplant wait list has been increasing sharply in the US over the past two decades. Most transplants come from deceased donors — people who elect to donate their organs when they die. But there's another large source of potential kidneys: living donors. Since we have two kidneys, most people can share a kidney with other people. Most living donors give a kidney to someone they know, like a relative or a friend. But there are also non-directed living kidney donors, other wise known as altruistic donors or good samaritans. Watch this video to see the story of one such donor, Dylan Matthews.
Written Testimonial From, Patricia Comito - 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."
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.
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 Hans' story via your publication, then please send a direct message below.