Nancy Johnson

Welcome to Nancy's CaringBridge Page!  Thank you for joining and for caring.  My mom, Nana as her grandchildren call her, has lived a life caring for so many people: her family, friends, her hundreds and hundreds of students she taught in elementary education, and the hundreds of lives she touched while working in church ministry alongside my father, Ronnie.

I created this page to let you know about Nana's current health challenge, and how you can help. This is not an easy story for me to write, but I know that without getting the word out, one of you who might be interested in helping won’t have that opportunity.

Nancy has kidney disease and has been receiving dialysis treatments for the past three years because her kidney disease has caused her kidneys not to work well enough to keep her alive.  Her treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. She gets regular dialysis treatments, usually three times a week for four hours at a time, which helps her kidneys do their job and keeps her alive, but a transplant would offer her more freedom and the ability to live a longer, healthier, more normal life. A transplant would also give her more time to do the fun things she cherishes most, like spending time with her family, friends, and especially her grandkids. 

My mom has never been one to seek out help for herself. So you can imagine how hard it would be for her to ask anyone to donate an organ to her. Nancy's immediate family including myself wish we were healthier and in different life positions, so we could donate a kidney to her.  I'm doing what I can to help her by getting the word out about her situation.

In fact, finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. Just ask the 100,000+ people on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney like Nana. Time is not on our side. Some wait for years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is five years or more.  However, there is another option: receiving a kidney from a living donor.

Asking a family member or a friend to consider donating a kidney is difficult, but it greatly improves Nancy's chances of getting a transplant. A living kidney donation typically lasts longer and functions better.

You might not know a lot about living donation - I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my mom's life. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them. Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:

- You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
- Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
- The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks.
- The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by her insurance. The hospital can give you extensive information on this.
- You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests. 

You can also learn more about living donation on the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) website: ( or by contacting the NKF’s helpline at 855.NKF.CARES (855.653.2273) or ( If you want to talk to someone who’s already donated a kidney, NKF can also help.
Thank you for taking the time to read Nana's story.  If donating a kidney to her is something you would like to consider, please call Nancy's transplant center at either 720-754-3127 or 720-754-2164 for a screening.

I know living donation may not be right for everyone — but you can still help! Consider being an organ donor after death and also, help me by sharing Nana's story with everyone you know. At the very least I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation. I am hopeful my efforts will help my mom receive a kidney sooner and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list.

Thank you,

Jason Johnson

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