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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kidney Transplant...A Roller Coaster Ride

  After going back to Utah in Oct. 2014, I thought
things would move fast. We had donors ready to go, and
the hospital was ready as well. What I did not know was
that each donor took about two months to complete all the
necessary tests ensuring the best match for me. The waiting
game and roller coaster ride was about to begin. I waited
for someone to call me from the hospital and tell me
what was happening. It took two weeks to receive a call,
however, I was ready to move forward immediately..
          I felt extremely humbled by family and friends that
had signed up months before to donate a kidney on my
behalf. I had five donors to be tested, and I felt blessed.

            The first donor was my daughter. I had always felt
she would be the match or play a very important part in all
of this. It took a few months of testing to find out she was
about a 51% match...the hospital felt we could get a closer
            Although this appeared be a setback, we found out
about the “Paired Exchange Program”. A wonderful
opportunity where more people can be helped by receiving
a kidney. Anyone (family member, friend) can donate a
kidney on behalf of the person who needs a transplant. The
person who needs a transplant can then receive one from a
“Good Samaritan Donor” (a person who voluntarily donates
a kidney) all dependant upon sharing a good match.

           My daughter decided to start the Paired-Exchange
Program process. She had gone through just about all of the
tests needed when we found out that there was a Good Samaritan
Donor that was a perfect match for me. We were very excited
to find this out! But in order to receive the kidney, one of my
donors needed to donate their kidney to someone else. So, my
daughter stepped forward.
          It was the week before Thanksgiving when my daughter
had one of the last tests needed (a CT scan) showing a mass.
That was quite a shock to all of us! I just wanted my daughter
to be okay. We were all concerned about the possibility of
cancer. Her chances of being a donor had stopped. As she went
for additional tests to find out what should be done, it took a
number of weeks before we found out it was most likely not
cancer. We were extremely thankful!

         While we waited, the hospital started testing the second
donor, my brother. He did the required testing and found
out that he was a good match. We were all thinking I might
receive a kidney by the end of 2013. To my surprise we
found out the hospital had reserved the operating room
for Dec. 31st New Year's Eve. We were extremely happy
until we heard the news that my brother had high blood
pressure and needed a month of monitoring. After the
monitoring, it was decided that it would not be in his best
interest to proceed as a donor. Thankfully, my brother could
now take care of a previously unidentified health issue.
Another blessing in disguise. Again we were extremely

          Then donor #3, a dear family friend began the donor
testing. But, before she got too far, a miracle happened, the
doctors agreed to not only remove the kidney from my daughter,
but the benign mass as well. The Paired-Exchange program
looked to be the hope for which we were looking.

         Again, the rollercoaster of highs and lows continued.
Patience was needed, that has been a life lesson I have
learned through this process.


  1. Praying for you and your family. Thank God for donor programs, family and friends.

  2. Thank you Danice for your caring comments. I have found those type of comments have helped my family and I get through something like this. There are so many people I have such gratitude for. You are one of them.