A year ago my brother called me regarding his health, he found out his kidney’s were failing. It was only a matter of months before he would be on dialysis. For years Tim’s health had been failing due to diabetes. I come from a family of six children where diabetes is prevalent; according to data from the National Diabetes in 2011 a total of 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. However another 70 million people are “prediabetes”. That’s about 12% of our population.
Tim is my eldest brother who is married, they have a beautiful 10 year old daughter. Tim has saved my life twice. Once when I dove off a raft into a lake Ontario as a child and came up gasping for air. Tim saw me from the shore and immediately swam out to save me, he arrived just as I had given up and was going under. The second time I was in a barn fire around 12 years of age.
It was a fairly easy decision for me to donate my kidney, I figured it would cost me surgery and four weeks of recuperation in exchange for saving a life. I immediately went to my doctor and requested a physical along with determining my blood type. I was disappointed to find out my blood type was different and therefore not a match. A friend of mine told me about the National Kidney exchange program. When I called the Clinical Transplant Coordinator at UPMC in Pittsburgh PA and begin the rigorous process of determining whether I was completely healthy to donate.
I am donating my kidney next week on the 16th of August. I am planning to write about my experience leading up to the donation and then after the surgery in hopes of sharing my story with others who are considering this process.