Every time I hear about someone who is suffering from some sort of kidney disease my heart gets so sad. Having experienced the effects of kidney disease on my Godmother and our family I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. However, after donating my kidney it seems that my sensor for the disease is higher and I am finding out just how common it is. It is one thing that so many people are currently living with kidney disease but it’s an entirely different thing that so many people are dying from it!
Any time someone discovers that I have donated my kidney I am always surprised by the plethora of questions that always follows. Some people ask if it hurt, about my scar, if I can still have kids, if I can drink alcohol, what happens if I need a kidney some day, and those are just some of the questions. The most common question I hear is, “But don’t you need BOTH your kidneys?” The answer is always NO (under my breath I mumble…obviously). Throughout this last year it has become so evident that people aren’t walking around simply refusing to donate a kidney or any organ for that matter they walk around with a lack of awareness and because of this so many people are dying an unnecessary death. THIS HAS TO STOP!
With a greater awareness of kidney disease and living kidney donation this could all be a thing of the past. Everyone needs to know how easy it is to donate an organ and when I say easy, I mean as easy as a surgery can be. To put it in perspective I was working a week and a half later and working a trade show two weeks after my surgery. Now I know I am a bit more crazy than the average person and I wouldn’t recommend that for everyone but the point is I was able to do it! My recovery was simple and most days I completely forget that I only have ONE kidney!
From the beginning of our kidney surgery journey I said we had to remember to always give back and help others traveling the same journey. We know that not everyone’s journey is as easy as ours was and because of that this blog exists along with all the other attempts I make to create awareness. A large focus of mine is to help a dear friend whom I’ve known since we were 13. Her name is Marissa and she is a military wife and mother to a new baby. What you can’t tell by looking at Marissa is that she is also a breast cancer survivor. After being diagnosed with cancer in her early 20’s she fought a hard battle and prevailed. Life was moving along quite nicely for Marissa. She met a great guy and had to be a patient wife while he was deployed. She gets pregnant and while it was a special time in her life she learned that her kidney function was at 17%. Due to her extremely low kidney function the baby had to be delivered a few months early. Baby RJ is extremely adorable and a fighter just like his mama. RJ has endured a few surgeries but is on his way to living a long and healthy life. All the while, Marissa is getting tested to get her on track for kidney donation. The hard part is finding a donor! That’s where I step in…
If everyone would educate themselves and really understand the disease and how they can play a part in helping saving someones life this really could be a thing of a past. Just think of how many children like baby RJ could have their parents live a long and healthy life with a working kidney that someone else didn’t even need. We all have two kidneys but only need one. Will you give yours!?!