Some of you now me from Bowersock Gallery here in Provincetown that my husband Steve and I own. But what some of you may not know is that I have kidney disease. Unfortunately, over time my kidney disease has gotten worse causing my kidneys not to work well enough to keep me alive. This is what I am facing now, and my treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. I have to do dialysis treatments four times a day. This helps my kidneys do their job and keeps me alive, but a transplant would give me back a normal life.
A living kidney donation typically lasts longer and has better function. You might not know a lot about living donation – I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my life. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them. Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:
• You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
• Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
• The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks.
• The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance.
• 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.
You can also learn more about living donation on the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) website: www.kidney.org/livingdonation
THE BIG ASK:THE BIG GIVE – Start a conversation about living organ donation
or by contacting the NKF’s free, confidential helpline at 855.NKF.CARES (855.653.2273) or email@example.com. If you want to talk to someone who’s already donated a kidney, NKF can also help.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If donating a kidney to me is something you would like to consider and are B+ please consider helping me take my life back. I would be happy to tell you more about my story and explore the process of determining if you are a match for me.
You can also contact my transplant center directly at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 617-632-9700, bidmc.org/kidneydonor
I know a living donation may not be right for everyone but you can still help by being an organ donor after death. I am hopeful my efforts will help me receive a kidney sooner and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list.