Hi! My name is Patti (Schwartz) Bonetti, and I am 63 years young! I have a hereditary kidney disease called Alport Syndrome, which unfortunately has led to kidney failure. Alport Syndrome affected many members of my family, including my mother (who died of kidney failure), my brother (successfully transplanted 29 years ago!) and my son (who is 34 years old, successfully transplanted 23 years ago!). I very much hope I am as fortunate as my brother and son who received the gift of life before needing dialysis, which could be required within a year. Specifically, I’m hoping to receive a living donor kidney (blood type O). Though this is among the most frightening times of my life, I am given so much hope by the 20+ year success stories of my brother, my son, and of course, the continued good health of their wonderful donors. Unlike my family, however, I have not yet found family members of my blood type or who are healthy enough to donate – indeed, my family’s pool is somewhat depleted of healthy kidneys!
More about me personally: I was recently divorced after 33 years of marriage, which did not start my retirement years off as planned! But in spite of this and my health, I am excited about this next chapter of my life. I want to see my nieces get married and have children. I want to grow old with my siblings, walk my dog Sully and snuggle with my kitten Fidget, travel to visit family and friends who live far away, and I would love to continue tap dancing, which I have done for 31 years (though I ultimately had to stop due to
struggling stamina and energy). I believe with a new kidney, I could dance another 10+ years!!! Perhaps most of all, I want to spend active time with my son, daughter-in-law, and hopefully a future grandchild—traveling, playing, and babysitting! I can’t wait to see my son and daughter-in-law become the wonderful parents I know they’ll be, and I can’t wait to support them as mother/grandmother even as I grow older.
I live in Pennsylvania, and I will have my transplant at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. If you are considering donation, please call (410) 614-9345 to begin the process. Please know that much of the testing can be done local to you, even though the actual surgery will be done in Baltimore.
I cannot thank you enough just for taking the time to read my story and for your consideration in giving the gift of life to a complete stranger – just your thoughts and understanding of my situation give me courage. I hope you will consider testing for me along with the many others who are searching for this gift, and I know (and my family understands) what a blessing it can be. Know that I am also thankful for your kindness should you choose to donate to another in just as much need as me. Thank you for reading my story – Patti.
As I said earlier, I have not had to start dialysis yet, so timing is important.
Having a transplant would mean living, enjoying and participating in a normal life, not being restricted to a dialysis schedule, not having my body get more run down with the dialysis process.
If you are Blood type O and you are interested in getting tested to be a potential donor, you can do it confidentiality by contacting Johns Hopkins (410)614-9345. I also appreciate if you would please share my story. The more people who share, I’m hoping someone will care! Then, just maybe, I will find my Donor. I thank you and I am truly grateful for your help.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Patricia Bonetti'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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