I met Tom Lauher at our church. We both sing in the choir and we have often done duets, which is especially fun. I love to hear his beautiful tenor voice during his solos as well. Over many years, we have gotten to be good friends. We have worked closely on countless church fundraisers and committees and I admire Tom's dedication to the church. He has a wry sense of humor and he is fun to hang out with. Tom has a knack for specificity of language in all communications. He often helps me with various tasks, including rides to the hospital, repair work of all kinds, many preparations for the sale of my house in 2018, and he's always good for some old-fashioned advice. Tom is that way with everyone, helping out in all kinds of capacities. I like to think I am special and he only helps me, but, alas, he is helping friends and neighbors of all sorts, not just those closest to him. I know him well enough to know that he is very bad at asking for help from others. So, for him to be asking for a kidney donor is a big thing and has been a long time coming. I am glad he has reached out in this way, and I am honored to be one of his "champions."
Tom's journey to needing a kidney has been a long one. The urgency came when he experienced renal failure in the summer of 2019. Who knew when he was nauseous and couldn't keep food or water down for 2-3 weeks that it was caused by a blockage in his bladder. Finally, we got Tom to the doctor who sent him directly to the hospital. It was a long hospital stay. Hi family members flocked in from other states. I spent a lot of time ferrying books to him in the hospital to keep him busy while he recuperated from the emergent part of his illness. Many others helped as well. Tom's illness caused him to have to have a foley catheter in for about 2 years. This was very inconvenient and I am sure uncomfortable. This prevented him from being able to wear shorts for 2 summers and caused many other problems, which I am pretty sure I don't want to even imagine. Tom has had to restrict his diet because of his illness. He's not supposed to have beer or tomatoes or potatoes and a whole host of other foods, and this puts a cramp in his style by restricting him at social gatherings, like beer and pizza with the guys, for instance! And when Covid hit, that made everything even worse, as it did for everyone. Nonetheless, he continues to volunteer as much as he physically can at the church, he runs the Fence Team, providing fencing to local organizations and raising funds for the church. He serves on so many boards and committees, you will hardly ever see him at home. But, because of his illness, the doctor visits are constant and he cannot do as much as he used to.
Since his kidneys are only functioning at 5-8% capacity, Tom needs a kidney donor right away. A transplant will mean that Tom will be able to have reduced stress from the thought that he could die prematurely. If he does not get a transplant soon, he may need to go on kidney dialysis, which Tom tells me can only help for so long.
Please help us spread the word via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email and word of mouth that Tom needs a live kidney donor as soon as possible. You don't have to give him a kidney. By simply SHARING his story, his chances of finding a live kidney donor go up dramatically! You can also help out by contributing to the gofundme page which was set up to help him and his donor with various costs associated with the organ donation. Thanks!
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Tom Lauher'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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