Thank you! Thank you for coming to my Find A Kidney Donor Campaign. It's a pleasure to have you here. I have to admit I wish neither of us had to be here, me putting up this campaign or you having to learn about my story and make a decision whether or not to help me. My condition has brought us together and one thing is for certain I can't get out of this predicament without your help. As an ex-Airforce man they train us to do our best as often as we can and seek out the help we need when we've exhausted all internal options. It's taken me this long to come here and share with you my story because I have been so fortunate to have the best, most wonderful partner by my side. She and I have been married for 44 years and we have two children and five grandchildren to get us up and out as often as we can. My wife is my greatest gift and for her there's nothing I wouldn't do or at least try my best to do including battle bladder cancer for several decades until I finally beat it. She in many respects was my motivation, our family was my inspiration and I have a job that I love too. I am a program manager at NASA and I love my job. All the while I was fighting cancer; enduring surgeries and everything that goes along with it; I put the people and things I loved in front of me. As a consequence of cancer treatments and surgeries I ended up with kidney failure. Several times a week I go to the clinic to receive dialysis. They hook me up to a machine and it draws out approximately 80% of the blood from my body and spins it through a cleaning cycle before returning it to me. This take hours; when it's done. There's nothing I particularly want to do after dialysis treatments other than rest because it's exhausting. This means I don't get to enjoy family members or friends much anymore. It also means that my community goes without the work I'd normally contribute. I'm in the years of my life when I would be turning my attention from working at a job as much to lending my energy and know-how to civic life and community, family and friends. That would be if I were not fighting to remain alive which is my preoccupation at this time and which is what has led me to put up this campaign. I am hoping that you will help me by being my donor. I ask you to please be the life-saving donor I need to get off dialysis and back to work. Will you test to see if we are compatible matches?
What does it mean to be a donor many people ask; it means that you share the gift of life with me. That is not a euphemism, it is truly what will keep me alive because the average life span of a dialysis patient is 5 to 7 years, but a recipient of a transplant is much longer. Scientists have proven over the course of many decades that humans can live their life span with one healthy kidney. We only need one healthy kidney to live the span of our lives and I am asking you to please be the person who shares life with me so that I don't die like so many others who were waiting for a transplant. Currently there are over 120,000 waiting to find their donors. Thousand every year die before they find their donors. I want to be part of the group who connected to their donors and that's why I set up this campaign and why I'm sharing my story. I need help. Will you please help me? Will you please be my donor. The procedure is deemed safe. It's been performed thousands of times and have become more and more efficient, now it is being done using laparoscopic incision which leaves a small mark of a couple inches and requires just a few days recovery time for the donor. To save someone's life is a matter of the heart. I ask you to please search your heart and tell me if you will be my much needed life-saving donor.
My blood type is A+ and I am listed at University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore MD.
I am an A Positive blood type and listed at University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore MD
Contact University of Maryland Hospital for more information about our living kidney donor program. For additional information about our kidney transplant program or to speak to someone about becoming a living kidney donor, please call 1-410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.
Here's What The Experts Say About Kidney Donation:
A Powerful Video Testimonial:
"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 (Living Kidney Donor)
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."
The Shocking Figures:
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.
Click here to learn about how safe Living Kidney Donation really is.
Frequently Asked Questions About Living Kidney Donation:
Why is there a need for living kidney donors?
Since the 1980s the transplant waiting list has more than tripled while the amount of deceased donors has stayed the same. Currently, more than half of the patients on the entire waiting list are waiting for a kidney. Such patients are forced to undergo years of dialysis treatment in order to stay alive while they wait. Every person has two kidneys, but can live a perfectly healthy life with only one. In addition, studies have shown that patients who receive kidneys from living donors have higher success rates than those who receive their organs from deceased donors.
How can I become a living donor?
If you know someone on the waiting list and wish to be tested to see if you are a match, ask that person for the name and number of his or her transplant coordinator. You will be evaluated to see if you are suitable for donation. If you are able and choose to donate, the recovery and transplant will take place at that center.
What if I need a kidney at some time in my life and I've donated one?
If you have donated a kidney and at some point in your life need a kidney, you will automatically be given credit on the waiting list so that you will be placed near the top.
What are some rule-outs for potential living kidney donors?
Candidates must be at least 18 and usually not more than 65. Because transplant professionals will not want to do anything that will harm the health of the donor, candidates must be in very good general health with no prior cardiac or kidney disease problems. In addition, if a potential donor is overweight, they may be asked to lose weight before the surgery can be performed.
How long does the donation surgery take?
The actual donation surgery could take anywhere from three to five hours depending on a variety of clinical factors.
How long will I be out of work?
The average living kidney donor can expect to be out of work anywhere from two to six weeks. Some but not all employers offer paid organ donor leave for such circumstances. If you think your employer might institute such a plan, the federal government offers a model to follow.
What are the risks associated with living kidney donation?
The risks associated with the donation are the same as with any major surgery. Donating one kidney and living with one kidney, generally does not affect life expectancy or quality of life. However, there is a slightly increased risk of high blood pressure, a slightly increased incidence of kidney failure, and the possibility of injuring or developing disease in the remaining kidney. The risk of dying from any surgical complication is extremely small (approximately four in 10,000).
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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 Wayne's story via your publication, then please send him a direct message below.