We are seeking a kidney donor for our son Sean. Both of us, his parents, have been tested to be a donor but have been rejected because of conditions associated with our health. One of Sean’s close friends was tested but her kidney was incompatible. So we are reaching out to friends and family to see if we can find a donor for Sean.
A little background: Sean is a 29-year-old California native who is an avid snowboarder and mountain enthusiast. He graduated from Evergreen State College in Washington in 2007. In 2008 he began experiencing abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. He saw several doctors who found no abnormality. Then in April, 2010, an acupuncturist referred him to a local hospital in Truckee where he resides and he was given a blood test. The next day, April 27, 2010 Sean was sent immediately to the emergency room in Reno, Nevada where he was diagnosed with kidney failure and put on dialysis.
As you can imagine, our whole family was in shock. We gradually learned that Sean would never recover his normal kidney function. He was then put on a list to await a kidney transplant. Sean has been waiting patiently for a kidney transplant ever since 2010. We are appealing to everyone who reads this notice to help us save Sean’s life.
Donating a kidney is a profound act of altruism. There are currently over 100,000 people in the United States waiting for kidney transplants. Only about 17,000 transplants took place in 2015. Last year 4,700 people died while on the waiting list for a kidney. Humans can easily survive with one kidney since the remaining kidney steps in and does the work of two kidneys. Our kidneys are designed as our body’s built in back up system a bit like a spare tire and nearly everyone lives their entire life with extra kidney function.
Before you can donate a kidney you will be thoroughly tested to determine if your health and the health of your kidney will allow you to be a donor. If there is any shred of doubt, you will not be accepted as a donor. The kidney recipient’s insurance covers all the costs of the tests and the procedure.
There are still many myths associated with living donor kidney transplantation.
Myth #1: A kidney donor will have to take medications for the rest of their life.
Fact #1: A kidney donor will take pain medication and stool softeners at discharge from the hospital. These are only for the immediate post-operative period, after that time, a donor does not have to take medication.
Myth #2: A kidney donor will have debilitating pain for an extended period of time.
Fact #2: A kidney donor will have some pain after surgery but this pain will diminish in the days following surgery and can be controlled with pain medication if necessary.
Myth #3: A kidney donor will be in the hospital for an extended period of time after surgery.
Fact #3: Most donations are done laparoscopically with two very small incisions. A kidney donor will be hospitalized for two nights (i.e. if surgery is on a Tuesday, the donor will typically be discharged on Thursday).
Myth #4: A kidney donor can no longer participate in sports or exercise.
Fact #4: A kidney donor should be able to return to regular activities and exercise at approximately 4-6 weeks following surgery.
Myth #5: A female kidney donor should not get pregnant after donation.
Fact #5: A female kidney donor should wait 3-6 months’ time after donation to become pregnant. The body requires time to recover from the surgery and to adjust to living with one kidney prior to pregnancy.
Myth #6 Donating a kidney will substantially shorten your life expectancy.
Fact #6 Donating a kidney is major surgery but has not been shown to reduce the donor’s life expectancy. Interestingly, people who have donated a kidney outlive the average person.
Although about 5,000 living donors in the United States donate their kidneys every year, the procedure is not without risks. The donor surgery has a .02% mortality rate (i.e. 2 in 10,000). As a point of comparison, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2014 maternal mortality rate in the US is .014% (e.g., 1.4 in 10,000)
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
To find out more see the video at https://www.kidneyregistry.
Transplant website: http://www.cpmc.org/advanced/