As many of you know, my husband Edmund has been battling CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease for the past few years. His kidneys have deteriorated, and he is in definite need of a kidney transplant. Before I even knew what was involved I offered him my kidney. I have two and you really only need one. After testing and evaluation, we were thrilled to find out that I am an excellent match as a living donor.
We feel extremely lucky that a living person, me, was able to donate a kidney. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, living donor transplants have higher organ quality and longer lifespans. Waiting for a deceased donor kidney can take years and is not a guarantee. As potential living donors, we really didn’t have much of a pool to look into as Edmund is an only child. I went through a thorough health history questionnaire, blood tests, and biopsy to ensure we were compatible and healthy enough to donate. Who knew we had so much in common? We have been married for almost 33 years and just found out we were the same blood type.
It makes me so happy knowing my kidney will be laying right next to me in the bed.
Donating a kidney is a major surgical procedure, so the evaluation of potential living donors is intensive. Doctors want to make sure the donated kidney will function well in the recipient for years to come. While recovery is not easy, many living donors report an improved sense of purpose and well-being after saving a life. For us, the sacrifice is worth seeing Edmund healthy again.
If you or a loved one needs an organ transplant, exploring living donor options should be top of mind. Blood relatives like siblings or children are often the best matches, but directed donations from good Samaritan donors are also possible. The waiting time for deceased donor kidneys can range from 3-5 years in some areas. A living donor kidney help can provide lifesaving surgery much sooner.
Organ donation is one of the most selfless acts one can do. If you are interested in becoming a potential living donor, start by speaking to your doctor. They can provide guidance on eligibility, refer you to transplant centers, and help you through the evaluation process. Every donor makes a difference on the national organ-sharing waitlist.
We continue to prepare for the surgery and keep our hopes high. Edmund’s donor kidney will be monitored closely to ensure it is functioning correctly. With follow-up care and medical management, a living donor kidney can last 10-15 years on average, giving Edmund many more years of good health and life together. I will continue to provide updates on our journey through kidney donation and transplantation. Please feel free to ask any questions – I’m here to raise awareness about this lifesaving cause.