I find myself in Stage 5 kidney failure, facing dialysis and the limitations that it brings to the length and quality of my life.
My grandmother lived to be 96. My parents are alive at 88 and 92. But at 66, I find myself in Stage 5 kidney failure, facing dialysis and the limitations that it brings to the length and quality of my life.
Apparently caused by an unidentified period of hypertension, my physician alerted me to diminishing kidney function 7 years ago. She was hopeful that my kidneys might stabilize at a decreased, but adequate level.
As a mother of two sons, and step-mother of one more, I have looked forward to watching their lives and families develop. A family and a career left me little opportunity for other interests, and I, indeed, looked forward to retirement as the opportunity that time would offer to “become who you really are”.
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go to http://www.kidney4debra.com to get your angel wings.
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Debra’s grandmother lived to be 96. Her parents are still alive at 88 and 92. But at 66, Debra is in Stage 5 kidney failure, facing dialysis and the limitations that it brings to the length and quality of her life. Debra and her husband of 37 years, with their rag doll cat Wilson, looked forward to the opportunities retirement would bring, but now Debra’s future is uncertain. With thousands of other Americans, Debra is now on the kidney transplant waiting list. As a mother of two sons and step-mother of one more, Debra had looked forward to watching her sons’ lives and families develop after working in hospital patient safety and risk management for 30 years. Instead, retirement was followed by right eye blindness from a rare eye stroke, and then colon cancer.
Recovery from these medical challenges was followed by kidney failure, apparently caused by an unidentified period of high blood pressure. Dialysis and transplant are the only treatments for kidney failure. Dialysis replaces only a small percent of a failed kidney’s function during a brutal treatment regimen without hope of improving health. Deceased donor kidneys require a waiting time measured in years during which dialysis takes a hard toll on the body and limits activities. Everyone is born with a second kidney which, when sufficiently healthy, can be safely shared via transplant with a short hospitalization and recovery. Transplanted living donor kidneys function on average much longer than deceased donor kidneys. Debra’s family is unable to donate due to a genetic risk for kidney disease. Debra is blood type AB+, which may receive a transplant from all other blood types. Should other matching factors make a willing kidney donor incompatible, kidney paired exchange programs allow donors to be paired and matched with other incompatible pairs.
UCLA Donor Evaluation Form