In 2011 my dad was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease and started dialysis. He had planned on getting on the transplant list to get a new kidney not knowing he would run into other health complication which would not qualify him as a recipient. You are probably wondering why I\’m sharing my story if my dad never qualified for a transplant, right? Well, when my dad decided to start the process to get on the list, I decided that I would want to be tested to be his donor; something I never shared with him because I didn\’t want to get his hopes up high to only end up not being a match (I wasn\’t very well informed in 2011 and wasn\’t aware of paired donation). In May 2013 he discontinued dialysis as he had lost all hope of ever having a \”normal\” life; a few months later he passed away.
For the last couple of years, on the back of my mind, I kept thinking why not just donate to whoever is next in line; if I was willing to live with on kidney back in 2011, what would be different about living with one kidney now?
On January of 2017 I finally decided I wanted to donate, I wanted to help someone, I wanted to give a family hope.
I have a teenage son and had someone ask me \”what if your son needs a kidney at some point and you can no longer donate to him\” to which I replied \”what if he doesn\’t and I didn\’t help someone in need\”.
On March 13, 2017 (my 44th birthday) I donated anonymously. One of the best things I\’ve done so far. All I know is that the recipient was a patient at the hospital where I was screened. That was the only request I had, that the donation stayed at their hospital with one of their patients.
All the encouragement and support I received from my husband, son, mom, friends, co-workers, the amazing transplant team, people I barely knew was extremely humbling and at times even overwhelming.
One kidney will not change the world but it will change someone\’s world.