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6 days ago · Living Donor Process in Transplants

Yay! I'm so excited for you. Isn't it all amazing? I'm still in awe of what can be done.

Tue, May 14 10:28pm · Lodging transplant patients in Transplants

We stayed for 2 weeks at Broadway Plaza and really liked it. I liked having 2 bathrooms, a full size fridge and washer dryer. My husband liked that they brought him AV cords so he could use 1 of the tv's as a computer screen for work.
Its a couple blocks walk to Mayo outside and also accessible by sky bridge. Its near the library, a great international store & a mall.

Thu, May 9 2:32pm · Kidney donation in Transplants

You can check with the National Donor Assistance Center. Mayo also has information on finances. Some states offer job security for donors (leave of absence) some also offer tax breaks or credits.
My recipient covered my travel costs and part of my missed wages. Her insurance covered some of it but funding from other sources were based on her income and she was not eligible.
I hope it works out for you to do this.It's beautiful when someone is willing to donate a life saving organ and heart breaking that it isn't readily affordable for everyone.

Thu, May 9 2:23pm · Living Donor Process in Transplants

@ek101085 I'm sending positive thoughts and encouragement for your evaluation.
To me, it was harder than the actual donation! I made a paper copy of my schedule and used it for notes like, eat between 730-8, may have sips of water until 9, ask nurse about ___. The Mayo app was very helpful for when appointments were added or moved -they will be. The intake/receptionists are invaluable for scheduling questions and they may be able to call ahead if you're running late (or early).
Even though the days are long and both physically and emotionally taxing, it was an amazing experience. All of these tests are for you and your well being! You will know more about your medical history than the average person which is a huge gift. Mayo wants to make sure you are healthy and prepared and doesn't want to take unnecessary risks with your future and will treat you like a hero.

Sat, Apr 13 1:26pm · Living Donor Process in Transplants

@colleenyoung thank you for that. It is important to me to show potential donors what it's like. I think if more donors tell their story, it makes it more "real" to those wondering about donation. The easier donations, like mine, the ones that don't work out because of medical reasons or they changed their minds and the ones that end up more difficult are all important in showing what really goes on for a donor. Sometimes hearing about the worst part of someone's journey isn't half as bad as someone else's imagination.
Mayo has transplants down to the last detail from the medical side and they took excellent care of me but I also needed to hear about the comfort of high waist undies after surgery, extra long phone chargers and if it hurts really bad or just sort of bad. It was nice to be able to freak out here, without my family, the doctors or the recipient think I wanted to back out.
I also like to think that potential recipients read about it so they have a perspective from the non medical side to offer someone that may want to help them.

Fri, Apr 12 10:51am · Living Donor Process in Transplants

Congratulations on making the decision to donate!
I had questions come up during my journey and called Mayo directly. From what I remember, a nurse/social worker will be the one you talk to initially, so that's who I would try to reach.
I don't know how it works when the recipient is family but Mayo would not give me any info on my recipient including other potential donors or her schedule until it was time for the surgery. Even then, they told me it was based on her surgeon's schedule.
Your sister still probably has a million tests that need to be done before surgery that will take time to schedule and complete. There could also be someone that is already testing as a donor for her. Or the social worker could be busy, which is great if you think about it.
While I was waiting for my full evaluation at Mayo, I got routine medical appointments done to save time in MN. I had a well check, mammogram and colonoscopy, as well as flu and tetanus shots. If you need those anyway, this waiting time is a good chance to get them done.
I had many random non medical questions, so feel free to ask me as I probably asked someone the same thing. Good luck!

Wed, Feb 27 11:30am · Kidney transplant: Thinking of becoming a donor in Transplants

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.

Tue, Jan 22 8:40pm · Kidney transplant - The Journey from the Donor's Side in Transplants

I'll be thinking positive thoughts for you!
It's good news either way. You will either be able to donate or you will have caught an important part of future medical needs.
I hope you are able to donate but with so much up to date, first hand information you could also be so helpful in encouraging someone else to think about donation.
I hope it works out for you!