If you’re looking for information about being a kidney donor, a very useful resource launched last week from Living Donation California. Everything you need to know about becoming a kidney donor is presented in a well-organized and easy to understand format. There are over a half-dozen educational videos plus living donor stories, tips on how to start your donation process, the risks involved, post-surgical recovery, insurance, a survey which helps you evaluate your eligibility to donate, and links to California transplant centers and National donor resources.
Category Archives: Kidney Transplant
I need a living kidney donor and say so publicly, and I get a lot of comments here on my blog articles–as well as personal messages on my Facebook Page–from people around the world offering to sell me a kidney. While I genuinely appreciate their willingness, buying kidneys is illegal in this country. Mt Sinai, my transplant center here in NYC, would have to bump me from the nationwide registry program. Who among you with a young family can take that sort of risk? Hence, I need an altruistic donor.
But curious to know more about the black market for kidneys, searching Google led me to Havocscope, where the reported average paid by kidney buyers worldwide is $150,000. US buyers reportedly pay less–$120,000. Continue reading
My kidney function has crossed the border of stage 4 to stage 5, aka end-stage kidney failure. Last year my GFr (common measure of kidney function) fell from 50 to about 12, whereas it took 14 years for me to drift from 70 to 50. My situation is now urgent with the wait list for a non-living donor 4–7 years.
It works. . . strangers donating a kidney to other strangers through an organ donation registry.
In this instance, five donors and recipients were all in the same area–Des Moines, Iowa. My congratulations to them all.
The local media lit up on January 11th and 12th with coverage of Iowa’s longest ever kidney transplant chain: Video of one of the press conferences is at WOI-DT, the local ABC affiliate. WHO TV, the NBC affiliate, and at KTLA TV also covered the story, and you can read coverage in the Cedar Valley Courier and the Des Moines Register.
On Saturday, USA Today picked it up, adding background information and a national context.
I’m really excited about the prospects of this medical research study turning into a viable alternative for the life-long anti-rejection medications that have potentially serious lasting long-term side effects for organ recipients–maybe even me.
Kidney transplants involve a donor who agrees to donate one of their kidneys. In a relatively new approach aimed at reducing organ rejection, living donors in a clinical trial at Northwestern University Medical Center are also asked to also donate part of their immune system.
Kidney transplant doctors were in the news during the last week of November, twice.
In the wake of winning the 2012 Lasker Award, Sir Roy Calne was asked in a NY Times article about early attitudes towards organ transplantation. “It didn’t exist!” Dr. Calne replies. “While a medical student, I recall being presented with a young patient with kidney failure. I was told to make him as comfortable as possible because he would die in two weeks. This troubled me.”
According to this article in the New York Times, a recent proposal from the kidney transplantation committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) would change how kidneys from deceased donors would be allotted to waiting transplant candidates (including me):
Central to the plan is a new index for better estimating the quality of the more than 14,000 kidneys recovered from dead donors each year. The top 20 percent of kidneys, as measured by the index, would be directed to those candidates expected to live the longest after a transplant — typically younger patients.
The conferring of the Nobel Prize in Economic Science has brought well-deserved publicity to Alvin Roth of Harvard for his work on market design which among other applications includes the software that powers chains of matched pairs between those who undertake life-giving donations of a kidney with those who are in desperate need of them. The massive effort, dedication and technical expertise of carrying out these exchanges is truly awesome. Continue reading
What? That’s right.
In the last month there have been a number of newspaper articles and television news stories about this. On September 20, 2012 the New York Times said that during 2011 “2,644 of the 14,784 kidneys recovered were discarded, or nearly 18 percent, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.”
The supply of viable kidney donations continues to lag the steadily rising demand (4%-6% per year), and medical researchers are hard at work trying to change this dynamic. Among many different studies of kidney disease and transplantation, researchers around the country are looking at ways to decrease rejection rates and increase the length of time a kidney can be in limbo before transplantation. At NYPH/Columbia, one recently announced study at their Department of Transplantation is investigating a drug called 15NP to see if it helps kidney recipients with high rejection risk when their donor is older, or if the time between donation and implantation is greater than 24 hours. Continue reading
Guided by his faith, David Koster donated a kidney 10 years ago. After speaking with my wife, Laura, he wrote the following passage specifically for my site. His story is engaging, speaks from the heart and has a happy ending.
TO SAVE A LIFE!
There are events that take place in a persons life that are so significant and so meaningful that they have an effect on you for as long as you may live. Those of you who are married and have children can surely relate to this. By the grace of HaShem I had an experience that was so beautiful, so magnificent, so wonderful that my life will never be the same. I gave one of my kidneys to a total stranger. Continue reading
My name is Joanna T. I work with Neil’s wife Laura and live in The Netherlands. My family and I have been on an emotional roller-coaster over the past few years. At the end of last year I reached end-stage kidney failure and was struggling to cope with my job and two small children. I did my best to try and avoid a transplant, but ultimately needed one.
Five months ago I received a kidney from my husband Adriaan. I was amazed at how smoothly the operation went for us both. I started to feel better as soon Continue reading
On May 20th 2012 I wrote about Dana Stibolt’s two-year journey to a kidney transplant, which included a blog and a Facebook page. Today–June 4, 2012–is the one-year anniversary of his successful matched-pair transplant. He’s doing well, and his new kidney is too!
From Dana’s blog: “…visit this link [to] watch a clip from The Dr. Oz Show (of Oprah fame). It shows how one person who decided to donate his kidney started the world’s largest kidney swap [at the time the video was recorded]. Eight people ended up getting a kidney from eight total strangers. Pretty amazing.”
Agreed. Congrats to Dana on this wonderful milestone!
Late last winter the New York Times published a notable article which presented a comprehensive 360° perspective on contemporary kidney donation and transplant:
Chain 124, as it was labeled by the nonprofit National Kidney Registry, required lock-step coordination over four months among 17 hospitals in 11 states. It was born of innovations in computer matching, surgical technique and organ shipping, as well as the determination of a Long Island businessman named Garet Hil, who was inspired by his own daughter’s illness to supercharge the notion of “paying it forward.”
The article is a bit long but well worth the time and effort. Here’s a link to the full piece on the New York Times website: 60 Lives, 30 Kidneys, All Linked.