Help Kristina Barringer Find A Matching Kidney Donor

Background:

Dear Donor,

Words won't do it. There is no word in the English vocabulary to say how much I appreciate you visiting my Find A Kidney Donor Campaign. If I were to stretch I would say, "Tiefste Graditue," which means in the German language, "Deepest Graditude," although not even that really reveals how appreciative I am. From the name of the campaign you probably have surmised that I am in need of a kidney transplant; you are right, I am. Right now I'm on dialysis and it's beyond difficult, it's time consuming; it takes from my life a large swath of the little time I have left; it's depressing; having to conform to the harsh restrictions does not allow me time to socialize or the freedom to enjoy food like I've always been accustomed to doing; it's a strain on my relationship; my husband and I are best friends, without him I don't know where I would be or even if I would be alive, - He's my ROCK!, but all the things we used to do are taken away from me which means they are taken away from him too and that hurts so much. I was a social butterfly and together we were the couple who traveled abroad to see friends and showed up to important events in their lives. Yes, we were that couple before I was afflicted with CKD which by the way originated after I had undergone a quadruple heart bypass. None of this has been easy. To have the loving arm of my husband to hold me and our unbeatable snuggle buddies who are our two adorable dogs helps me endure it, but only you can have me survive it. I set up this campaign to ask you for help. Will you be my life-saving donor and help me regain my health, and energy and life? Please!

You are the luckiest of the lucky to have your kidneys working in the strategic manner in which they were intended to work There are over 120,000 people waiting to find compatible donors. People like me who have begun marking time, trying to remain healthy until the phone rings or a message is left in my email account by a person like you. Someone who has looked it over and reviewed the evidence that proves human beings can live their full life span with one healthy kidney and are willing to share the gift of life. The transplant procedure is deemed medically safe. The modern medical way in which it is performed uses laparoscopic incision because that leaves such a small mark and requires only a few days recovery time for the donor. In fact, one donor said that her decision to be a living donor and save the life of her recipient was the best decision she'd ever made. She said if she could, she would do it again. She along with many thousands of other people who donated last year are back to leading healthy, productive lives. The difference is that they know what impact they've made to the world. They know they've saved somebody's life. I am asking you to join them by being my generous donor. Please, won't you join them and help me to live a full life again? My blood type is O and I am listed at the Mayo Clinic in AZ. 

Sincerley, 

Kristina Barringer


Here Is Why Dylan Became 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.

I'm an O Blood Type and listed at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

Call 800-344-6296 for more information

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Click here to complete the online questionnaire to begin the simple process of determining if you may be able to be my lifesaving Living Kidney Donor.


It's Safe!

Mayo Clinic transplant doctors, surgeons, and other transplant staff members have extensive experience with living donation. In fact, Mayo Clinic has one of the largest living-donor kidney transplant programs in the United States. 

Surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery to remove a living donor's kidney (laparoscopic nephrectomy) for a kidney transplant, which may involve less pain and a shorter recovery for the donor.


Facts About Living Kidney Donation

Living-donor experience. Mayo Clinic transplant surgeons have extensive experience with living-donor kidney and liver transplants. Mayo Clinic surgeons in Minnesota performed their first living-donor kidney transplant in 1963, and have offered these procedures at all three sites for more than 15 years. Mayo Clinic transplant teams in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota perform more living-donor kidney transplants than any other medical center in the nation, and Mayo Clinic is the only center in Arizona that offers living-donor liver transplants.

Personalized approach. Mayo Clinic physicians look at the evidence to determine the safest and most effective approach for every challenge patients face and apply this knowledge to obtain the best possible outcomes.

Detailed follow-up practice. Mayo Clinic physicians monitor patients closely so that each patient gets the care he or she needs when it's needed. This approach ensures the success of the transplant in collaboration with the patient's referring physician. Long-term care, if needed, is seamlessly coordinated with the patient's local physician.

Whole-person care. Mayo Clinic transplant staff takes the time to listen to your questions and concerns, which may include medical, nutritional, social, financial and spiritual issues. Mayo Clinic's integrated care teams provide all the care necessary for the transplant and related medical needs. Mayo makes the experience seamless so that patients can focus on getting better, knowing all their needs are being addressed.

Whole-process support. Mayo Clinic assigns each patient an experienced transplant nurse coordinator to help answer questions and provide support before and after transplantation.


Quick Facts About Kristina:

1.) What is your age? - 47 

2.) Do you have children or grandchildren? - No. I wasn't able to have kids. So, we have furry kids (2 dogs; Splash our rescue doggie, and Emma, our little girl)

3.) How long have you been married? - We have been married 19 years.  It will be 20 years on this upcoming November 1st. We've been together for a total of 24 years. :) We're each other's best friend. He's my rock. He's the reason I'm able to keep going, even on the days I just want to give up. 

4.) Are you on Dialysis Currently? - Yes. 

5.) What type of Dialysis do you currently conduct? - I do Peritoneal Dialysis at home every night. I'm on the machine for 9 1/2 hours. And, I'll be frank, I hate it. It dictates my life. I'm tired, have no energy... I just try my best to keep going. 

6.) What emotional toll has Kidney Failure had on you? - It takes up so much time out of my life, with dialysis, constant Dr's appointments, the pain in my bones from it (it affects your bones), it makes it much more difficult to keep my diabetes under control (which I've always done). I don't feel like going anywhere half the time. And I feel like I'm a burden. I hate that feeling. I'm used to be independent. I can't be that way anymore. It takes over your life. Even your diet has to change. So, you can't really fully participate in a lot of things because of food. It just becomes overwhelming, as it takes over every part of your life. 

7.) If you could talk to someone who is interested in donating to you, what would you say? - When I was well, I had a very active social life. If you donated to me, not only would it save my life but it would give me life back. 

8.) What is your blood type? - O Type. If you are not an exact match, please still get tested. You may be a great candidate for paired exchange (click her to learn more).

9.) Where are you listed (name of Transplant Center)? - Mayo Clinic AZ

10.) Once you receive your Kidney, what do you plan on doing with your future? - I have SO much I'd love to do. I'd like to get my social life back. Right now, I'm a homebody, which isn't like me at all. I'm always the social butterfly, the life of the party. My husband and I would like to travel more. We have friends in different countries we'd like to visit. And, I'd like to do volunteer work with women of domestic violence and their children. 

11.) What happened that caused you to need a Kidney Transplant? - I needed a quadruple heart bypass and I also had to have an angiogram and that pretty much took the rest of my kidney function away. Ever since then, I've been on dialysis.

12.) Do you have a specific religion or religious affiliation? - Spiritual

13.) How has Kidney Failure/Dialysis impacted your quality of life? - Admittedly, I cry every day. Out of frustration and being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm tired of feeling useless. The longer I'm on dialysis, the more tired and weak I've become. 

14.) What is the first thing that you plan on doing after you have recovered from your Kidney Transplant Surgery? - Well... I know it sounds stupid, but because of the diet, you can't have cheese. I want something with a lot of cheese on it!!!! I'm German (lol). You don't take cheese away from a German girl who grew up with an uncle that made all kinds of German meats/sausage and cheese!! But, besides that, I'd like to be able to take a short trip, and not have to think about dialysis. 

15.) Add any other information which you think may be peculiar to you and would be of interest to a potential donor. We believe in emphasizing the uniqueness of the individual.  - My passion is music! My husband and I still collect vinyl records and that's where we had fun together. We would spend hours sorting through vinyl records just to find the rarest one we were looking for. I am also a strong advocate for animals.


Here Is What Kristina's Friends Have To Say:

Get Started:

In order for our team to determine if you are a candidate for living kidney donation, please click here to learn more about the simple kidney transplant evaluation process.


Video Testimonial:

2012 Olympic Gold medal hurdler Aries Merritt is still a top contender in spite of a kidney disease that threatened not just his career, but also his life. Mayo Clinic physicians figured out what was making him sick and guided him through the kidney transplant from a selfless living kidney donor that put him back in the race.


Frequently Asked Questions About Living Kidney Donation:

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.


Shocking Stats:

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.”


Media:

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