The first thing I would ask of you is that you share the link to this blog to all of your email contacts & by posting on your blog & social media contacts!
My brother Kevin has been on the kidney transplant waiting list for three years, to no avail. As the time to begin dialysis quickly approaches, the best hope for his recovery is to receive a kidney from a living donor.
Can you imagine being in such a position? Every day, feeling the further decline of your body, as your kidney’s function continually decreases. The symptoms of kidney failure become more acute when your function falls below 15%. Kevin’s is at 10%. Some of the symptoms include:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- A build-up of phosphates in the blood which in turn causes itching, severe muscle cramps & bone damage
- A build-up of potassium because the kidneys cannot filter it, causing abnormal heart rhythms and muscle paralysis
- Build-up of fluids causing swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, face and/or hands & shortness of breath due to extra fluid on the lungs
- General lethargy and weakness
For the first 2 years of waiting, there seemed to be little hope. But in 2010, a potential donor came forward, offering her kidney. Blood tests determined the candidate was the correct blood type! Hallelujah! Further tests confirmed her to be a tissue match! Amazing!! In January, Kevin flew the potential donor & her family to Philadelphia to proceed with the pre-transplant evaluation. We were all so hopeful that he would be healthy again and could stave off the potential risk of dialysis. There was finally hope that he’d be able to live out a normal life span.
However, all hope was dashed when during the pre-transplant evaluation process, the candidate changed her mind. Do not misunderstand – NO ONE could fault her for her change of heart! This is a monumental thing to ask of someone-giving the ultimate gift of life as a living donor!
None of Kevin’s siblings, including myself – are candidates as a kidney donor. Nor is his wife. The only hope now is to find another living donor!
This is why I’m doing all I can to tell Kevin’s story, in hopes someone will be motivated to save him. I have no doubt that a living donor will be found! Already there have been heroes who have stepped up to see if they were a match. I will not stop until Kevin receives a new kidney. The more who read this blog, the more likely we’ll find that donor! Hope does spring eternal!
The fastest way to start the process of being a living donor for Kevin is to fill out and fax the Live Donor Referral Form from the Penn Transplant Institute.
If you can’t be a donor, please spread the hope by sharing this blog link with all of your contacts!