My name is Kharon and I am Sharon’s twin sister. Sharon and I have known each other our entire lives, and up until after college we did everything together. Ballet, tap, cheerleading, softball, ice skating and soccer. We went to the same college together, Howard University and pledged the same sorority together, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. As twins, we had the same friends through college. Sharon and I love skiing and snow boarding and love traveling together.
In our twenties, Sharon and were I tested and diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) after learning our mother had it. Our mother was on dialysis, received a kidney transplant and eventually had to go back on dialysis. In 2013, our mother went home to Glory after suffering a cardiac arrest after a dialysis treatment. Our older brother was diagnosed with PKD many years later after Sharon and I were diagnosed. To date, he has had two kidney transplants.
For almost 30 years, Sharon and I together have shared this journey of having to live with this awful genetic disorder. For the past 2 years, our kidney function has progressed quickly into end stage renal disease. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, water retention of the lower extremities, frequent urination, and uncontrollable high blood pressure. Due to COVID and having ESRD, Sharon’ life has changed dramatically. She has to be extremely careful because if she contracts COVID, it could take her out or she may become ineligible to to have a kidney transplant because she could become too sick. Right now, Sharon can’t go out and can’t enjoy family vacations or activities. If Sharon receives a kidney, she will not have to go on dialysis which negatively will affect her quality of life.
In February 2020, I was evaluated by doctors UTSW in Dallas, Texas, to get on the transplant list. After going through the process herself, Sharon was right there with me to support me. I was accepted to get on the transplant list and by the grace of God 3 of my closest friends offered to get tested to see if they could be a donor. At UTSW only one person can get tested at a time. One friend was eliminated immediately due to an underlying health condition and the other friend was going through the process of being tested up until I received a call from UTSW. On November 18th, 2020, I received a call from UTSW offering me a kidney from someone who died. Because I was a 97% genetic match, my receipt of a kidney from the transplant registry was expedited by years. I flew from DC to Texas and later that night I had surgery. I have been recovering since that time.
As Sharon’s twin sister, having been blessed with a kidney, I am helping her look for a living donor. A living donor increases her life expectancy and quality of life. Please consider being tested to be a living donor and share with Sharon's story with your family and friends. You never know would will be led to get tested. The more people who know and get tested, the greater chances she will find the perfect match!
Thank you for your consideration!
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
1800 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD, 21287
Did you know?
Medical expenses for living organ donors are 100% covered, and inquires from potential donors are 100% confidential! Contact the Transplant Center to learn more about living donation.More Donor FAQs
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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