Adventures of a Kidney Donor

May 6, 2014

Support Kidney Donors and Recipients in the Kidney Walks!

Filed under: Support — by anne315 @ 8:35 pm
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Kiersten celebrating 11 years after transplant

The 2014 Greater Lansing Kidney Walk is Sunday June 22. If you are from the Lansing area, consider walking with us or making a donation. If you are from another area, kidney walks are taking place all over the world so check them out. Last year it was so cool to see so many walkers with “I am a living kidney recipient” or “I am a living kidney donor” shirts on!

I have three teams with personal ties and would love for you to donate to them.

My dear friend Jackie and her family are walking in memory of her mother Freda, who left us too soon after her brave battle with kidney disease. Jackie is one of my kidney heroes. She received a transplant in 2010.You can give to Jackie’s team here: Freda’s Kids.

The family of Freda Gilbert Robertson is walking!

The family of Freda Gilbert Robertson is walking!

 

Another kidney hero of mine is my friend and co-worker Kiersten. She received the gift of life from her best friend Theresa in 2003. You can give to Kiersten’s walk team here: Team KiKi.

Bridget and Amy2

Amy and Bridget

My co-worker Jon has two kidney heroes in his family. His wife Amy gave the gift of life to their daughter Bridget last year. Both are doing well! They have made appearances on local TV and are featured in the National Kidney of Foundation of Michigan Annual Appeal. You can support Amy’s team Giggles here.

Walk or support a walker!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

January 24, 2014

Help a Kidney Donor

Filed under: Support — by anne315 @ 8:14 pm
Tags:

k and tAwhile ago, I told the story of Kiersten and Theresa. Kiersten is my good friend and co-worker. Her best friend Theresa gave her a kidney in 2003. Theresa gave at that time and now it is time to give back to her if we can.

Theresa’s only child, her son AJ, has just passed away after a brave battle with Cystic Fibrosis. He was only 23 years old. She could use a little help with his funeral expenses.

Kiersten has set up a page if you would like to donate.

We kidney people stick together!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation


December 31, 2013

2013 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — by anne315 @ 10:46 am

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 32,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

October 5, 2013

Michigan Libraries for Life

Filed under: Kidney Donation — by anne315 @ 9:40 am
Tags: ,

mich lib for lifeFor the second time, my library is participating in Michigan Libraries for Life.  The aim is to educate patrons about organ, tissue, and eye donation and to actually help people sign on to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.   Since 2010 this effort has expanded to include public, academic, special, and hospital libraries across the state. From Monday October 7 to Sunday October 13 you can come to participating Michigan libraries to learn more or to sign up with the Registry.  It only takes a few minutes but the impact is enormous!

Bridget and Amy2

Bridget received the gift of life from her Mom Amy

About 3,000 people in Michigan are waiting for a transplant and new hope for life.  Probably someone you know has been or will be impacted by the need for an organ. Here are some of the organ donation stories just from our library employees alone:

• Jon from Information Technology: Jon’s young daughter Bridget was diagnosed recently with the extremely rare chronic kidney disorder Nephronophthisis which damaged both of her kidneys. Fortunately, Bridget didn’t have to go on the waiting list because her mom Amy gave her the gift of life this past summer, donating one of her kidneys to Bridget. A precious gift from mother to daughter!

Larissa from Circulation gave the gift of life to her father two years ago when he developed kidney disease.  She said: “I found out he would have to wait four years to receive a cadaver kidney. Dialysis is very hard on the body, plus it was heartbreaking to see his quality of life decline. So when he went into complete renal failure, I called my parents and offered mine.”

Kiersten and her 10th anniversary kidney cake!
Kiersten and her 10th anniversary kidney cake!

 Kiersten from Circulation was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease several years ago and had started dialysis when her best friend Theresa stepped up to give her the gift of life. This year they celebrated the tenth anniversary of the donation. When Theresa found out she was a match for her friend she had only one thing to say at the time: “Let’s do this!”

  • Wendy from Public Services: “My sister in law needed a kidney last year due to kidney failure and diabetes. Her husband was a perfect match! So the whole family journeyed to Ann Arbor the day of surgery. Took his kidney out and put it in her and she is doing great now… A happy turn out for this family!”
  • Cheryl, Community Library Head:  “At the eleventh hour a close family friend with Cystic Fibrosis received a lung transplant that truly saved her life.  At 46 years of age she has beaten the odds for this disease, in thanks to this transplant.  She is now an avid runner and is a beautiful, brave and strong woman who is forever grateful to her donor.”

Dallas from Public Services: “My mother had a heart transplant at Ann Arbor.  She received the heart of a young man who had died in a car accident.  At the time of surgery, we were told she would live about five more years.  Considering that she was on oxygen and getting weaker every day, this was great news. I remember sitting in the waiting room and watching a team of workers go through with a cooler that held the heart.  Mom’s life quality was pretty bad after the surgery, but I know all of us were thankful for the extra time we had with her.  She was the oldest recipient of a heart at that time…I guess the most amazing part of this is that she lived for fifteen years with a transplanted heart! Whenever I think of the man who gave my mother her extra years, I am thankful.  Every person in our family is a donor!!”

Join the Michigan Registry or Join the Registry in your state.


September 23, 2013

Sometimes Kidney Donors Need a Little Help

Filed under: Organ Donation Heroes,Support — by anne315 @ 6:14 pm
Tags: ,
rodney and carl

Rodney and Carl

Many times kidney donors need financial support. Even when your medical expenses are paid, you may not get adequate sick time compensation from your job, may need help with travel and lodging etc. There outta be a law…I need to lobby for that someday…

I was fortunate when I did my donation because my place of employment was very supportive and let me use my sick days (I had hundreds of hours) which covered the weeks I was out with regular pay.

I just saw this story today about a donor who needs help.  You can donate here: The Carl Shull Donor Fund This is the story from Rhonda Alonzo:

...Many members of our family have been struck by polycystic kidney disease. We have watched our mother and her siblings battle this disease for years resulting in kidney transplants for our mother and uncle while two of our aunts lost their battles due to the side effects of this horrible disease.

My brother, Randy started dialysis a couple of months ago and my other brother, Rodney just started dialysis last week.

Many people who need transplants of organs cannot get them because of a shortage of donations. Every month, more than 2,000 new names are added to the national waiting list for organ transplants, and about 18 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S. Organ donation helps others by giving them a second chance at life. A living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ or part of an organ to someone in need of a transplant.

Rodney has a very generous friend named Carl Shull who has agreed to donate one of his kidneys to him. Carl has gone through the testing and is confirmed to be a match. The surgeon’s from the University of Michigan have scheduled the removal of Carl’s kidney and the transplant to my brother to take place on October 18, 2013 but we need you help!

Carl is married and has two children to support. Although his medical expenses are being taken care of as a living donor, he will only be receiving $300.00 a week from his employer during his 8 week recovery from surgery and that is just not enough for him to pay his household expenses. In an effort to show our appreciation, we are trying to assist his family by raising funds to pay his mortgage, utilities, car payment and insurance and health insurance premiums while Carl recovers for the 8 weeks. Unfortunately, any donation you make is not tax deductible since it will be helping pay the donor’s expenses but any funds remaining after paying those expenses will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation under both Carl and Rodney’s names.

Please consider helping us thank Carl and his family for his selfless act by making a donation. If you prefer, you could also make checks payable to The Carl Shull Donor Fund and mail them to me, Rhonda Alonzo, 35110 Savannah Lane, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48331.

Thank you in advance for your support!!!  –Rhonda

The Carl Shull Donor Fund

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

September 15, 2013

Need Kidney 4 Wife

kidney 4 wife

Larry and his sign, CBS News

Kidney donation stories always make me cry, (no surprise) and this one REALLY hits home.  You may have heard about his story. Larry Swilling has been married to his wife Jimmy Sue for 57 years. When Jimmy Sue’s kidneys failed, Larry knew he had to get her a kidney. So the 77 year old took to the streets–literally.

He walked the streets of his hometown Anderson South Carolina with a large sandwich board sign simply reading: “Need Kidney  4 Wife” and his telephone number. His wide needed a transplant and he wasn’t shy. It was the walk of his life–and hers. “I had to do something,” he said. “She looks after me, and I look after her.”

More than 100 people got tested to see if they were a match due to Larry’s efforts. Finally after a year a match was found, 41-year-old retired Navy lieutenant commander Kelly Weaverling. The surgeries took place September 11th and well.

Larry says he has two new missions: to find other donors for other people, and to find a way to properly thank the woman who gave him his wife back. His first mission is already yielding results; many people have stepped forward to get tested for live donation and/or are registering to be organ donors as a result of his story.

As for thanking Kelly, she says simply: “Just take care of your wife,” Kelly replied. “Just take care of her.” Steve Hartman, who reported this story says: “Doubt that’ll be a problem.”

Kidney heroes Larry Kelly and Jimmy Sue, CBS News

Kidney heroes Larry Kelly and Jimmy Sue, CBS News

I am SO happy that this story had a happy ending.  People in need of organs shouldn’t have to resort to such desperate measures. One way to keep people off of the streets with sandwich boards? REGISTER TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR, and encourage friends, family and co-workers to do so!

Join the Michigan Registry or Join the Registry in your state.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

August 12, 2013

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Filed under: Kidney Donation — by anne315 @ 11:16 am
Tags: ,

2-cakeHappy 2nd anniversary to the recipient and me. Today marks two years since the kidney I used to have went to someone else out there. I don’t say “my” kidney anymore, I say “the” kidney since it is now his. I am glad it is his too!  Hope he is having a great dialysis free life and doing things he always wanted to do.

So many lives are touched by kidney disease and donation. I have several kidney heroes in my life. My dear friend Jackie of course. Three people who work with me:  Kiersten received a kidney from her friend Theresa, Larissa gave a kidney to her father, and Jon’s daughter Bridget received a kidney from her mom Amy.

I hear from people all over the world who have donated a kidney or are waiting for a kidney. I am grateful if this blog helps them in a small way. For those waiting, never give up hope!

What can you do for those waiting? My best anniversary present would be that everyone reading this sign up to be an organ donor if they haven’t done so already. Make sure your family and friends are registered. You CAN make a difference!

Join the Michigan Registry or Join the Registry in your state.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

June 9, 2013

The Solution: Register to Be an Organ Donor!

Filed under: Support — by anne315 @ 1:08 pm
Tags: , ,

donorI talk about living donation a lot, but it is always important to remember how crucial donation after death and organ donation registries are.

It is heartbreaking to see children in dire health waiting desperately for organs. Recently little ten year old Sarah Murnaghan has been in the news. She suffers from cystic fibrosis and is in desperate need of a lung transplant. Her chances of getting an organ were limited because of the rules set down by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, or OPTN. There is a two tier system that limits children to receiving organs from other children and teens and adults get the first chance at adult organs. Her parents fought the rule in court. Now Sarah and another child desperately in need of a transplant, eleven year old Javier Acosta, are eligible for adult or child organs.

The whole heartbreaking process, a dilemma for the families, medical professionals and courts, could be avoided if more people would register to be organ donors.

There is a great article by JoNel Aleccia on NBC News.com that discusses the Murnaghan situation and the overall organ shortage problem. Excerpts from the article:

Only about 45 percent of adults in the U.S. — nearly 109 million people — are organ donors, a figure that donation and transplant experts say seems tragically low when the public’s attention is riveted on the lack of organs for a child such as Sarah.

The biggest barrier to registering is procrastination — tempered with a little denial, said Sharon Ross, a spokeswoman for the San Diego affiliate of Donate Life.

More than 118,000 people are waiting for organs, including nearly 76,000 who actively need them now, according to OPTN. About 18 people die every day awaiting transplants.

“People sometimes believe that organ allocation is the primary issue, when in reality, the crisis is the lack of supply of organs for transplant,” Fleming said.

Donation advocates say there’s one certain way to avoid what Sebelius described as the “incredibly agonizing” situation of having to ration organs: Get people to donate.

“We certainly believe that if everyone were a registered donor, it could double the number of transplants each year,” said Fleming, noting it would boost last year’s 28,000 transplants to more than 56,000.

They work hard to rebut common myths about organ donation designation, including this one: ER doctors won’t work as hard to revive potential donors in a crisis.

Minority groups including blacks, Hispanics and Asians are often reluctant to donate, primarily because of religious or cultural reservations, experts say. White people account for about two-thirds of all organ donations.

“The real message is this,” Fleming said. “If you feel discomfort or outrage for this young woman, the real response, the way to provide hope to people like Sarah is to become an organ donor.”

There are at least 3,000 Michiganders currently on a waiting list for an organ. Michigan has made big strides lately toward adding more names to the donor registry but we have far to go.

Join the Michigan Registry or Join the Registry in your state.donor license plate

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

June 3, 2013

Support a Kidney Walker!

Filed under: Support — by anne315 @ 2:14 pm
Tags: ,

The family of Freda Gilbert Robertson is walking!

The 2013 Greater Lansing Kidney Walk is Sunday June 23.  I have three teams with personal ties and would love for you to donate to them.

My dear friend Jackie and her family are walking in memory of her mother Freda, who left us too soon after her brave battle with kidney disease.  Jackie is one of my kidney heroes. She received a transplant in 2010.You can give to Jackie’s team here: Freda’s Kids.

Another kidney hero of mine is my friend Kiersten. She received the gift of life from her best friend Theresa in 2003. You can give to Kiersten’s walk team here: Team KiKi.

Kiki of Team Kiki!

Kiki of Team KiKi!

My newest kidney hero Bridget and her mom will be having their surgeries soon. Bridget is getting the gift of life from her mom. This year Bridget’s aunt is walking for the Accident Fund. 

Look for kidney walks in your area. Walk or support a walker!

bridget

Bridget’s aunt is walking!

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

May 3, 2013

Bridget, my Newest Kidney Hero!

Filed under: Kidney Heroes — by anne315 @ 5:44 pm
Tags: ,

bridgetThis beautiful young lady is Bridget, the daughter of a co-worker. I met her recently and she is full of energy and fun. She and her family have faced a challenge recently.

In February 2013 Bridget was diagnosed with an extremely rare chronic kidney disorder called *Nephronophthisis, a disease which has damaged both of her kidneys and is not reversible.

The great news is that Bridget has a donor from her family and surgery will be scheduled soon. The family needs help with expenses and a benefit is being held:

Sunday May 5, 2013 1:00 pm
Fowler Lanes 252 S Main St. Fowler, MI
989-593-2230

Bowling Tournament at 2 pm with registration at 1:00 pm. 

Silent Auctions

Bake Sale

50/50

Food and Drinks

$25.00 Per Person

All Proceeds Will Be Given To Bridget’s Family

Please Join Her Family For This Great Cause!!!

*Nephronophthisis  is a progressive hereditary kidney disease, marked by anemia, polyuria, and renal loss of sodium, progressing to chronic renal failure, tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, glomerular sclerosis, and medullary cysts.

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