More than fifty years ago, at age 14, I was diagnosed with kidney disease. My father donated one of his kidneys to me. While kidney donation is a routine and safe procedure now, it was in its early stages then. But it worked. Since 1972, my father's kidney let me work as a special needs teacher, get married, raise children, and now spoil grandchildren. It let me teach my kids -- a former firefighter and a research scientist -- to live honest lives and help others. It let me start to teach those same lessons to my grandchildren.
All that came to a crashing stop in December 2022. I suddenly entered Stage 4 kidney failure. That now 90-year old gift of life from my father is losing steam fast. The build up of toxins in my body is immensely nauseating, painful, and exhausting. All day. Every day. Normal activities - playing with grandchildren, seeing friends, cooking, or taking a walk - is becoming impossible. Without a new kidney, painful dialysis is a certainty. Three times a week, every week. Only a new kidney, from a Type O+ or O- donor, will help me take back my life.
You're reading this because none of my friends and family are matches for me and cannot donate. I'm scared for the future and need your help. For people with O blood type and without a live kidney donor, the wait on the transplant list is up to 8 years. My family and friends are my whole world. Help me get back to them.
I'm living proof that you only need one kidney to live a full and meaningful life. My father is proof that donors face no health impacts and touch countless other lives with one simple gift. If you can be my hero, or if you know someone who can, please contact me or Georgetown University Hospital.