The 2010 Kidney Walk

My Personal Story

I wanted to walk this year because I myself started on a journey 2 years ago to change myself so I can be a potential donor for my brother. On February 6th 2008, I underwent gastric bypass surgery. I was 339lbs (currently 215lb and still losing, slowly but surely)and not getting any lighter. I knew I needed this operation because my brother has been on dialysis for 3 years at that point. He had 2 calls for a kidney but they went to someone else. Those calls came during the fist 3 months he was on dialysis.

This surgery was extremely painful. I cried. I suffered from depression. I suffered from regret because even though my body is now smaller, I still had the mentality of my former self and escess skin to prove it. However, it wasn’t about me, I told myself this was for my brother and hopefully a new life for him.

January of this year, I along with 2 of his friends when to Hahnemann Hospital to go get tested to see if we are a match and we all were. However, I told my brother I would be the first to go through the testing to see if I can give him my kidney.

All my tests were great except 2. I had to go through further testing because I had blood in my urine both times I did the urinalysis. So I got a lovely cystoscopy done (which mine you hurt for a day trying to go to the bathroom. I’m just glad I’m a girl because the “route” is not that far to go unlike a man’s “route”). But everything came back negative. I didn’t have any tumors and my bladder looked nice and healthy.

The second problem was blood work, specifically the PTT test. My PTT test were not clotting fast enough. They said that my bleed time took longer than normal. So I saw a hemotologist and did more blood work so they can mix my blood with the population. This test hasn’t come back yet as today and I am hoping to hear back from them by next week (June1st) because this one test is holding me back from moving forward to the final test for my heart. If I can move forward, I jsut have to see the cardiologist and do an echo and the stress test.

I really hope I can help my brother. This has been a long journey for him and he lost about a decade of his life dealing with his kidney disease. He was first diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome at 23 and was very sick for about 4 years until his kidneys finally quit and had to go on dialysis at the age of 27. But not only that at the age of 31 he underwent heart surgery to get a defibrillator put into his body because his heart was getting weaker. We aren’t sure what it was from but he had 4 bouts of pnemonia in a year and that may have been part of the reason. But now he is healthy enough for transplant is just waiting to hear back from my side.

I really admire my brother, even if I don’t tell him. we aren’t a family that shares emotion with each other. We know we love each other, we just don’t say it. He really does show me his strength. I don’t know how I can manage a life dealing with what he has had too. He is my hero and I admire him for that. That is why I hope I can do this one thing for him. That is why I don’t fear what may or may not happen if I am on the surgery table. I want to help him live. I want to give him a new lease on life. I don’t plan on leaving this life, but I know the consequences and I am more than willing to do it for him. We are a family and to me that is what a family does. Willing to sacrifice for another.

If I can donate, this will really give him the chance to really live the life he was taken away from for about a decade. He can finally do things without worrying about dialysis 3 times a week. He can finally get the job he wanted. But not only that, My life can move forward. I can have the life I wanted without worrying about financial strain of supporting my family. We can all just move forward without any worries and just have a new life.

***Update 6.3.10 I received news that I was unable to donate my kidney due to my genetic disposition of carrying the Lupus Anti-coagulant antibody. So my brother will not receive my kidney. I do hope that his friends are willing to donate or there will be a kidney available to my brother soon. Although this is heartbreaking to me and my family, our support for a cure and awareness for kidney diseases has just grown stronger.***

(this was taken from my page on the Kidney Foundation website)

Please help by donating to this wonderful  charity. We need to find a cure and bring awareness to kidney disease. Thank you!

To Donate to my team Please click on this link

Deirdre’s Kidney Walk Team Donation Site

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