Though I have not had a kidney transplant, I am as close to the actual situation as you can get. I am the parent of a young man who was very sick one day; sick enough to send him to the ER and to receive a diagnosis that he was in kidney failure.
I remember that fateful day very well, informing my wife of that tragedy took all the courage and stamina I could muster.
It took a mere 6 months before Michael received his kidney transplant, courtesy of his kindergarten friend, Kellen. Loma Linda, located in Southern California preformed the surgery and they told me before that they loved the fact that Kellen was so much taller than Michael because it meant the kidney would be large and a large kidney lasts a long time.
Kellen and Michael live together these days-college roommates and still best friends. Had the surgery not gone as well as it did, I am certain they would still be best friends. They have a bond most people can only imagine and it is probably something even they cannot quite describe.
Life After Kidney Transplant
Still, getting from kidney failure to kidney transplantation was no easy task. Kellen had to qualify and on many levels. Health, psychologic testing and even after over 50 vials of blood were taken, Kellen stayed the course. When the medical team told him to quit smoking and to quit drinking, he complied without the slightest tremor.
There are a lot of people like Kellen. I wish I knew the count because we could really tap into their wonderful psyche and try to bottle the mojo they bring to the world. I was stopped at a recent fundraising event by a young woman who told me she wanted to donate her kidney to “someone”. So, I know there are more Kellen’s out there because we get calls and emails all the time from people who want to help mankind. They want information on how they can donate a kidney.
If you are in Renal Failure or if you are on the UNOS Waiting List for a kidney transplant, you should have faith that you have a chance. The issue is not how many or where are the donors, I think the issue is more exposure to the need. The more people know that you need a kidney the better your chances are for connecting with a living donor. It is the basis for the website we have created,www.livekidneydonation.org and it is why you should sign up because it is free and you have nothing to lose.