She Needs Your Help
A Bit About Myself
My name is Lorraine and I am one of 37 million people in America that have kidney disease.
Born in Long Island, New York
SEPTEMBER 20TH, 1953
BLOOD TYPE: O
I was diagnosed 10 years ago and managed to ward off dialysis and keep my name off of the transplant list for a number of years through a healthy diet, but ultimately my time has come.
Before I get into all of that, let me back up and first tell you a little bit about me. I have been married to my wonderful husband Mike for 45 years and we have two adult sons, Nick and Chris. I can honestly say that our lives have gotten better with age. We have a loving family and an incredible group of friends, but life hasn’t always been easy on us.
My father suffered and ultimately died of kidney disease in 1983 at the age of 72. Watching him struggle with his illness and fatigue while on dialysis paints an all too real picture for my potential future given that I am only 5 years younger than he was when he died. On September 11th of 2001 my husband, while working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, laid witness to one of the most horrifying events in American history. Our family suffered a great deal of trauma as a result of that day, but thankfully my husband survived.
Our most recent troubling loss was in 2018 when my mother-in-law, who was a constant source of strength and joy in our family, lost her life. She was not just a mother-in-law to me, but a lifelong friend. Her greatest treasure in life was her children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren and she leaves a legacy behind that I can only hope to live up to as I age.
Thankfully we have been able to enjoy the last 13 years of retirement by building our dream home in North Carolina, traveling, and watching our children build lives of their own. My eldest son Nick is married to my lovely daughter-in-law Nicole and three and a half years ago they made my grandma dreams come true with the birth of my beautiful grand-daughter Bailey. A couple of months ago my husband and I learned that our family will soon be growing through the wonderful world of adoption.
TIME IS SOMETHING WE ALL NEED, BUT TIME IS SOMETHING I DON'T HAVE.
Getting regular dialysis treatment would keep me alive, and it’s something I’m willing to do, but ultimately a transplant would offer me the ability to live a longer, healthier, and more normal life. It turns out, however, that finding a kidney isn’t easy. There are over 100,000 other people on the cadaver kidney waiting list just like me, hoping for their turn at a new life. Dialysis is very hard on the body and the longer your body has to endure that stress, the harder it is for your body to recovery from kidney donation. I am not yet on dialysis which gives me a better chance at a positive outcome post-transplant. Unfortunately, the average wait time for a cadaver kidney is five years and, in that time, I will likely be placed on dialysis. Thankfully there are other options for receiving a kidney.
Before I had kidney failure, I had never heard of the living donor or the paired kidney exchange program. The thought of asking a family member or friend to consider donating a kidney is both difficult and overwhelming, but it greatly improves my chances of getting a transplant. A living kidney also typically lasts longer and has better function. Understandably, the thought of donating a kidney might be frightening for some. Not only are you left with one kidney, but the thought of removal surgery can be worrisome. However, here is what I have learned about living kidney donation that may help to ease your mind:
You only need one kidney to live a long and healthy life.
Most kidney donation surgery can be done laparoscopically (meaning through a few small incisions).
The recovery period is fairly quick (around two weeks).
The cost of your evaluation and surgery would be covered by my insurance.
You will have an entire medical team that will help walk you through the process of evaluating you as a live kidney donor. They will help you understand the risks and benefits and have your best interests in mind.
While each of my children have graciously offered to be a donor, unfortunately neither of them is a candidate. This is why I desperately need your help. My blood type is O and although you may not be a direct match, the paired kidney exchange program still makes it possible to be a donor. The beautiful thing about that program is that not only would you be helping me to receive a live kidney, you would be directly helping another one of the thousands of Americans waiting for their opportunity at a kidney transplant.
I realize that donating a kidney might not be the right decision for everyone, but you can still help me on my journey to a new life by sharing my story with everyone you know. Together we can help bring awareness to kidney disease and the process of living donation and one day I may be able to live a disease-free life.