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Oct 23, 2018 Latest post:
Nov 10, 2018
The first time I'd ever heard about live kidney donation was through a book I'd read when I was in 6th grade. Over the next few years, I thought about the prospect of becoming a live donor someday, but I didn't really pursue it. I brought the subject up a couple of times, but my family encouraged me to wait in the event that someone I knew would need a kidney. I briefly thought about getting tested for altruistic (non-directed) donation, but when Dillon and Renae got married, I met Renae's dad, Darvin, for the first time. I did mention to Dillon's that I would be interested in donating if I was a match for Darvin. About a year went by, during which I did a little hospice work for Joyce Maldonado in Center, Colorado. I think that is what inspired me to start the testing process, having seen first hand what people living on dialysis face. Throughout the year, I occasionally mentioned the prospect of possible donation, or at least starting testing. One day, Dillon called me and asked if I was still interested in donating. There wasn't a question or doubt in my mind that this was something I wanted to do. So began the countless hours of lab work, doctor visits, and internet research! After some initial testing, I was sent a crossmatch kit and blood compatibility kit. I prayed that if donating wasn't something I was supposed to do, that I wouldn't even be a match. About 8 days later, I received the phone call that I was a match! From there, things seemed to move along rather quickly. The big appointment that would determine my eligibility as a donor was in Kansas City on May 31st. Throughout the day I met with eight different doctors, social workers, and nurses. I had a full range of tests that assessed my health that included labs, x-rays, CT scans, and an EKG. The transplant team was a delight to work with and they explained everything so well that I had no questions by the end of the day. After the appointment was complete, we had a 14 day wait until the final decision would be made. I got the phone call on July 18th that I was approved for donation and that surgery was scheduled for August 24th. Unfortunately, due to some unforseen complications, surgery was cancelled indefinitely. It was a big change of plans, but it seemed that God had something more in mind. A few weeks ago, I got another call from Kansas City- asking me if I was still interested in donating. This decision took a little longer, because I was teaching school in Scio and I was worried about the impact it would have on my class if I were to leave for possibly 2 weeks. My school board gave me their support and surgery was rescheduled for the 23rd of October!