Monday, February 28, 2011

We All Could Be Heroes!

Hello my friends! I am writing today for an extraordinary reason - I hope to help save my brother's life. And to ask you to share the link of this blog, with your friends and family - you never know where help will come from! You could be a hero!

My brother Kevin Bartley’s kidneys have lost 85 – 90% of function and he will soon have to start dialysis. He has been on a kidney donor list for the past few years, to no avail. We are hoping to find someone who will donate a kidney for Kevin. Transplants performed from living donors usually are more successful than from deceased donors.

Healthy kidneys clean your blood by removing excess fluid, minerals and wastes. But if the kidneys are damaged, they don’t work properly. Harmful wastes can build up in your body. Your body may retain excess fluid and not make enough red blood cells. This is called kidney failure.

Typically there is little risk to a kidney donor. John Hopkins University transplant surgeon, Dr. Segev stated, “Donating a kidney doesn’t shorten lifespan. While there are never any guarantees with surgery, donating a kidney is safer than undergoing almost any other operation.”

A kidney transplant will be a life-extending procedure for my brother. The typical patient will live ten to fifteen years longer with a kidney transplant than if kept on dialysis. Ideally, a kidney transplant should take place before the patient begins dialysis. And once he begins dialysis, a clock starts ticking - towards his death as the majority of dialysis patients are dead within 3 to 5 years of starting dialysis.

If you are interested in beginning the evaluation process to be a living kidney donor for Kevin, please go to the Penn Transplant Institute website where you can complete the Kidney Living Donor Referral Form and contact the team at 215-662-6200. All inquiries shall remain confidential between the donor applicant and the Penn Transplant Institute. Here is the link to their website:

The National Kidney Foundation also has an excellent resource for living donors on their web site at

Please help spread the word by forwarding this information to any Friends or family members you feel would be appropriate. Sometimes a donor comes from the most unexpected places. I heard recently of someone who was on the phone wIth her kidney specialist while waiting in line at a coffee shop. The Barista overheard and said she would be tested. Amazingly, she was a match and the transplant was done! Such an amazing case which fills our hearts with hope!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart - for your consideration regarding Kevin's dire medical situation.