My daughter, Jenni, has had life-long health issues that have resulted in chronic kidney disease and ultimately, kidney failure. Thus, we are seeking the gift of life, a living donor kidney.
Finding a kidney for transplant is not easy. Currently there are 103,181 people on the (OPTN) waiting list for a deceased donor kidney. In 2018 there were 21,167 kidney transplants in the USA. Note that approximately 70% of kidney transplants are from deceased donors. Time is not on our side. Some wait for many years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is five (5) years or more for a kidney from a deceased donor. Over 3,000 new patients are added each month. Sadly, 13 people die each day while waiting.
There is a better option: receiving a kidney from a living donor. A living donor kidney greatly shortens the wait time, lasts longer, and functions better than a deceased donor kidney. It is a far better option than Dialysis as well. There are many factors, but a kidney from a living donor functions, on average, 12-20 years, while a deceased donor kidney lasts approximately 8-12 years. Living donor kidneys almost always start functioning immediately, whereas a deceased donor kidney can take a few days or weeks to begin functioning.
If you find it in your heart and your health to consider such an incredible gift, I encourage you to research and explore. www.kidney.org/livingdonation is an excellent resource from the National Kidney Foundation. Some key basic points covered therin are:
1. You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life
2. Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, with tiny incisions
3. Recuperation period is usually fairly quick, normally 2 weeks
4. The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by the Jenni's insurance
5. You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living
donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for
your best interests.
6. You don't have to be an exact match to donate due to medical advances and the
paired exchange program.
Thank you for any consideration you may give. If you would like more information or have questions, please feel free to call me (Don Staten) at (314) 409-0416.
If you are interested in pursuing or learning more, please call the Barnes Transplant Center at
(314) 362-5365 option #4
They will obtain demographic information, mail a donor packet to you, and schedule a blood draw if you continue.
I realize that a living donation is not possible or right for everyone, but you can still help. Consider being an ogan donor after death, and help Jenni by sharing her story with everyone you know.