My Experience as a Kidney Donor

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  • My mother visits my room the day after our surgery!

    My Experience as a Living Donor

    On July 1, 2009 I donated my left kidney to my mother. My mother had suffered from poor kidney function for most of her life. When she was about 9 years old, she suffered from a silent bout of strep throat and rheumatic fever. Undiagnosed, this silent disease scarred my mother's kidneys and left her with about 50% normal function. Although her kidney function continued to slowly decline, she was able to live a normal life, including giving birth and raising three children. It was during the beginning of 2007 that we learned that her kidney function had significantly declined in the previous few years, and that soon we would need to consider either dialysis or a transplant. Unfortunately, my family wasn't prepared for this. While we knew that my mother had less then normal kidney function, we didn't realize that a time would come where her health would decline so extremely. We didn't have any time to think, her health began to rapidly decline and we began a frantic search for a donor. My brothers and I were convinced that we needed to find a donor immediately. My mother was nervous about the idea of one of her children being subjected to an invasive surgery and in particular that if I was to donate, that a complication might mean the end of my singing career. Both of my brothers and a few of my aunts were tested, but we were unable to find a perfect match. Worried about my mother, I decided that it was important for me to find out if I was a match. When it was determined that I was a match, I began to prepare myself for the surgery. I wanted to know what I could expect for my recovery, and what I could do to help my body heal. At first, it was difficult to find the answers to the questions that I had, but eventually I was able to find many resources that were extremely helpful to me. While the donation experience is far from easy, I have found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Not only has my donation radically changed the life of my mother, whom I love dearly, but it has made me a much stronger person. I dedicate this page to my mother and to all living donors. I hope that the resources here will be helpful to those who are considering donation.