My name is Sharon and I have kidney failure. I am a wife and the mother of 3 daughters in high school. I am an avid golfer and snowboarder. I enjoy yoga and weight training. And I'm hoping to find a living donor who can give me a kidney so I can continue to care for my husband and daughters and live a healthy, active life. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease 25 years ago, when I was in my late twenties. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time.
Until a few years ago, there was no FDA approved treatment for PKD so, for most of my life, my doctors and I watched my kidney function slowly decline; the only things that I could do to help my kidneys were to stay fit and manage my blood pressure. When the FDA in 2018 approved a drug that showed promise in slowing down the growth of the kidney cysts - something that could push off kidney failure by years -- I was hopeful and excited, and I started taking this drug. Unfortunately, it was too late to be effective for me. In fact, after I started taking this drug, the speed of the decline of my kidney function seemed to increase exponentially.
I inherited PKD from my mother, as did all of my siblings - my brother and my twin sister. All have handled PKD and its treatment with strength and grace, and I have wonderful role models in them. My mother started dialysis in late 2002 and received a kidney transplant 1 ½ years later, in 2004, when a deceased donor directed a kidney to the military hospital where my mother was listed. My brother was able to avoid dialysis and received his first kidney in 2009 from a friend who decided to become my brother's living donor. In 2018, my brother received a second kidney that was directed specifically to him from my friends who unexpectedly lost their son. My friends' generosity directly changed the lives of at least 12 individuals. This past November, my twin sister, who had not been waiting long, unexpectedly received a kidney from a deceased donor who happened to be an almost perfect genetic match. Because the kidney was an almost perfect match, my sister jumped the list by years.
I have not yet started dialysis; however, I'm now beginning the process to start this treatment. If I must do dialysis, I hope to be able to do peritoneal dialysis. When your kidney stops working, toxins and fluid buildup in the body and cannot be released. Peritoneal dialysis, uses the lining of your own belly to act as a natural filter, with the help of a cleansing fluid called dialysate. Dialysate gets passed in and out of your abdomen through a surgically placed tube called a catheter. Over several hours, the fluid pulls waste from your blood which exists the body by way of the catheter. Peritoneal dialysis is the option most similar to your natural kidney function. The catheter remains permanently in the abdomen and is taped down on the outside of your body so that it doesn't interfere with everyday activities. I hope to perform peritoneal dialysis on myself nightly so that my days will be more normal. I want to be able to continue to care for my husband, to help my three daughters navigate their high school years and prepare for college, and to resume high-intensity exercise and other physical pursuits with more vigor.
I need a kidney transplant, but the average wait time for a kidney transplant for my blood type while on the deceased donor list is 7-8 years. Living kidney donation is the best option to help me get off the waiting list and live a healthier life. That’s why I am writing to all of you. I am in need of someone to donate a kidney to me. What most people don’t know is that you only need one kidney to live a healthy life! Today, kidney donation surgery usually takes a few hours and requires a few small incisions. Most donors are released the next day and can return to work after a few weeks. Careful screening ensures that only those peopIe in very good health will be selected to donate, leaving the risks for donor complications very low. I would appreciate it if you would consider donating your kidney and/or sharing this post to get the word out for me! That would mean so much! Thank you for taking the time to read about my story and consider my request.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Sharon Works Hymes's Transplant Center. Begin by completing the donor questionnaire
There are currently 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S. Of these, 100,000 await kidney transplants.
The median wait time for a kidney transplant is 3-5 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility, and where you live.
In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of these, 11,570 came from deceased donors and 5,537 came from living donors.
Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant waitlist.
A kidney from a living donor lasts longer and begins functioning more quickly than a kidney from a deceased donor.
In 1995, kidney donation became minimally invasive with a procedure called laparoscopic nephrectomy, which only requires four small incisions. Hospital stay is typically only 3 days after this operation.
Not blood type compatible with your recipient to be a living donor? Kidney Paired Donation (the “kidney swap” program) enables incompatible candidates with a living donor to receive a kidney from a compatible donor.
Last year, over 700 living donor kidney transplants occurred using Kidney Paired Donation.
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