Grandma, I Want to Give Daddy A Kidney
"Grandma, I want to give Daddy a kidney." These were the words my 17-year-old grandchild muttered to me. She knew she had to wait until she was 18, but I also know her dad very well. He would never allow her to do this.
The importance of becoming a living donor
My youngest son has CKD and is currently on dialysis. Each year for 5 years he kept losing kidney function until one day, his kidney function was completely gone. He had been watching what he ate and working very closely with doctors on his medication. It just got to the point where there was no hope left, but to see if he could get a kidney through a transplant.
Of course, I was one of the first ones to come forward to see if I was a match as a donor. I have lived a good life and I was sure I would be a perfect match. His brother also came forward. We were not compatible because of our own health reasons. I was heartbroken but knew I wasn’t going to just sit back and do nothing. I wanted to educate people about how important it is to be a living donor.
I won't give up searching
I didn’t realize how hard this would be. It was a very emotional time for me. I started asking family and friends first, then went on to talk to schoolmates and employees. My next step was to start sharing information about being an organ donor. I contacted family and friends to help me reach out to their social media contacts, community, etc.
I knew in my heart that this could be a long shot. What did I have to lose? It’s all I wish for day and night. I JUST NEEDED ONE KIDNEY! I have been lucky to have people come forward for testing. So far, no matches. I will never give up on the search. He is on the transplant list, but when that day comes, he would like to have a living donor if possible. Understanding and acceptance are at the top of my list followed by new coping mechanisms for the not-so-good days and there are plenty of those that he will have to face.
It's important to educate ourselves
It’s been several months, and we haven’t got a bite yet. I will never give up hope on this, we still have time. I’m confident that we will get a donor one day. If you are considering being a live kidney donor, I would suggest taking care of your body and being in good overall physical and mental health. You must be older than 18. But far and foremost educate yourself, your family, and your friends on what the outcome is.
But for the time being, live a healthy life, and do things that you enjoy. You don’t want to stress yourself out. My son chose to do dialysis at home so that he could continue to provide for his family. I can tell you from experience that this process can be very challenging for the patient along with the family.
This or That
In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?
Have you taken our In America Survey yet?