Kidney transplant: Thinking of becoming a donor

Posted by sprint91 @sprint91, Mon, Feb 25 9:53pm

Hello. I am 28 yrs old. One of my dear friend’s brother is in need of a new kidney. I never thought of myself as a living donor but I know what it’s like seeing someone you love struggle and not be able to help. Am I crazy to get tested to want to help her if no family are a match?

@sprint91
You're not crazy, you're AMAZING!!!!
My life was forever transformed after I received a kidney from an acquaintance at work and she is now my "kidney sister".
Living donors are incredible people and through their selfless giving health is restored to someone who is suffering.
God Bless you for even considering donation.

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https://www.pbs.org/video/the-giving-chain-1549573070/
The attached link is a video of a recently aired segment on the PBS News Hr on the topic being a live kidney donor that I found very enlightening and inspirational. Being a live donor is a very serious and very personal decision. There is no right or wrong decision but the fact that you are considering it speaks volumes. I have two sisters with Chronic Kidney disease and I hope I will be in a position to qualify as a kidney donor to directly or indirectly provide them the gift of life if their disease advances to a stage where the alternative is they need to go on dialysis. I wish you all the best.

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@sprint91 You're not crazy, you're a wonderful, giving person to do that. If you can take the time, I think it would be something that would make YOU feel good for the rest of your life!
JK

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@sprint91, @donboettcher, I want to say Welcome to Connect and I want to express my deepest gratitude and admiration for sharing your interest in living organ donation. I have a kidney (and liver) transplant from a deceased donor. I can definitely say that I am blessed have received an organ transplant.

I am happy that you have already met, @jolinda, an expert by experience. as a recipient of a kidney from a living donor. She has had a remarkable background and I know she will be able to answer questions about the process when you have any.

Donboettcher, I want to thank you for sharing this PBS feature. I had not seen it before. I have seen picture diagrams of how a donor chain works. This put faces to the amazing possibilities that can occur.

Here is link to the Mayo Transplant Pages, that I want to share. You can read the Living donor and the recipient toolkits to learn about the steps involved in becoming a living donor. And be sure to check out the Newsfeed posts for articles by the transplant staff. There is a new one, just posted today about a New Federal Law for Living Donors https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/transplant/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/kidney-transplant-from-the-donor-side/
What kinds of questions do you have as you think about this decision?

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It may be crazy but it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I donated a little over a year ago. I didn't know the woman I donated to until the night before surgery, she lives in WI, I am in OR but we are "family" now. I have never once regretted donating.
She did not know I was a potential donor until after my full physical evaluation when I contacted her for the 1st time. Mayo (and probably everywhere else) will not give the recipient any information about you, including that you are considering donation. You can start the process and change your mind at any time. If you don't match, you can still donate and be part of a chain donation, where your "person" is guaranteed a kidney from someone else because you donated in their name.
I started with an online form, a nurse called to talk with me about donation and was sent a blood work kit to complete and send back. From filling out the initial form to going back to work after surgery took about 4 months. Some of the down time was because of my schedule, some was because of hers. Scheduling and health issues are different for everyone, so timing is also different.
I had a days worth of routine appointments (gyno, flu shot etc) here, went to Mayo for a 2 very full days of evaluations, had a few more tests the day before surgery, was in the hospital overnight after surgery, spent 10 days in Rochester (didn't want to fly right away) and 2 more weeks at home recovering. It was about a month out of my life and it saved someone else's. I'd do it again but need the other kidney right now.
There are risks with any surgery and they did ask if I was planning on having (more) children, I'm not so I don't know how much difference that makes.
Just considering donation and talking to people helps spread the word about live organ donation so you've already done something positive.

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