Save a Life by Being a Living Organ Donor
The Importance of Being an Organ Donor
My life was saved by a living organ donor - Twice! I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease (Kidney Failure) in April of 1996. Dialysis was promptly started while the search for a kidney donor began. Without a second thought, my parents decided they would be tested as potential living organ donors.
Although, both parents were matches, it was ultimately decided my father had the stronger kidney. On April 4th, 1997, at the age of 16, I received his kidney. A few complications during surgery shortened the life of the organ. My doctors expected about 5 years from my new kidney. I refused to give up so easily. I wasn't ready to lose the gift my father gave me.
In 2004, I was diagnosed with chronic rejection. By January of 2006, after 9 long years, I lost the battle and was once again hooked up to a dialysis machine.
This time was different. I only had to endure 4 short months of treatment because I already had a kidney waiting for me. On May 11th, 2006, I received my 2nd kidney from my mother.
My parents are two examples of selfless individuals who put their young daughter ahead of everything else. I've been very lucky in life and have learned to appreciate who and what I have.
Unfortunately, there are so many others out there who still waiting for the precious gift of life. Being a living organ donor and signing your donor card is one the most important gifts you can give.
Photo Credit: Donatelife.net
Being a living organ donor
Offers a great alternative for those awaiting transplantation
Being a Living Organ Donor
Being a living organ donor extends hope to those awaiting a life saving transplant. Living donors are healthy people who volunteer to donate a whole organ (usually a kidney) or a piece of another organ to help someone in need.
You first need to educate yourself regarding the donation process. Some points to consider are: testing, risks, and recovery. By fully understanding all steps involved, you are able to make a more informed decision and hopefully eliminate any fears.
Organ donation is a choice. You should never feel obligated or forced into donating.
A living donor must meet many qualifications. You must be in good physical and mental health. Free from high blood pressure, cancer, hepatitis, and HIV. You may also be asked to lose weight and stop smoking.
Once you've made the decision to donate, the recovery time can vary for each person. Typically, you will spend about four days in the hospital, resume regular activity within a month and return to work in 6 weeks.
A Living Donor
must first have a blood test to determine blood type compatibility with the recipient
Green Organ Donor Awareness
To be Considered for Donation
You will go through a few tests to determine your health and organ compatibility level. Each person is different and may require more or less testing.
Follow this -->Link<-- for a better understanding of testing and to view a blood compatibility chart
Blood is drawn from you and the reciepent. Then the blood is matched (white blood cells) between six codes on the donor and recipient cells.
This test is done using your blood to see if the recipient will react to the donor organ. If positive, the donor and patient are incompatible because antibodies will attack the new organ and rejection will occur.
White blood cells from you are mixed with the recipients serum. This checks to see if the recipients antibodies will react to the antigens of the donor.
In the case of kidney donation, urine is collected for 24 hours to determine kidney function.
Are performed in order to check the function of the heart and lungs.
This may be done to ensure each participate is ready for donation and fully understands the process.
First Living Organ Donation
The first living organ donation was December 23, 1954 (my birthday was exactly 26 years later!), when a kidney from one twin was successfully transplanted into his identical brother.
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You Do Not Have to Be A Relative
Or even know the person.
Being Related is Not a Requirement
Being a living organ donor doesn't mean you need to be related to the person in need.
A non-related donor can be a spouse, in-law, friend, neighbor or anyone else close to you.
A non-directed donor is someone who makes the decision to donate without being related or even knowing the recipient.
Paired exchange donation occurs when you have two donors and two recipients who are incompatible. The recipients trade donors so each person receives the organ they need.
What Can I Donate? - Organ and Tissue Donations
Healthy People Can Donate any of the Following:
1 Kidney (you have 2)
Portion of the liver
Lobe of a lung
Portion of the intestine
Portion of the Pancreas
March of Every Year is....
National Kidney Month
What is National Kidney Month
National Kidney month is designed to make you more aware of kidney health. The best thing you can do for you and your loved ones is too take care of yourself--- especially your kidneys.
Find a Kidney For Blake
Blake Loudenber needs a kidney transplant immediately. Blake is a 9 year old boy from Griffith, Indiana who has been waiting for his second kidney transplant for 8 years. He was born with polycystic kidney disease and has been on dialysis since he was 3 weeks old. If he does not receive a kidney immediately he will be stuck at the size of a five year of for the rest of his life. His condition is life threatening and this sweet little boy has not been able to have a normal life, let alone childhood, due to his debilitating disease.
I do not know Blake nor his family. I've been following his story on Facebook and wanted to help spread the word. Please read and share his story.
March 14, 2013, Blake received his new kidney. It just so happened to also be on World Kidney Day. He is living proof, miracles really do happen!
- Miracle For Blake
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