Just an update on the kidney stuff. I’ve written all this before but you have to dig a little deep in the blog to find it so I’m going to repeat some of it.
My website www.mikeneedsakidney.com tells the story. I have a genetic kidney disease, polycystic kidney disease, for which I’ll eventually need a transplant or dialysis. Since transplants result in a better quality of life as well as a better success rate, that’s the direction I want to go. Doctors say I’ll need one relatively soon. I predict I’ll need one sometime in 2010. You can track my progress on the graph on the site. My symptoms aren’t that severe — just general tiredness so far.
A kidney from a living donor usually does better than one from a deceased one from the waiting list, though at some point you can’t be too choosy. Worst case scenario, if I don’t get one from a living donor, I’d simply go on dialysis for a while and then get one from the waiting list sometime between now and 2014. There are some people that get by on dialysis ok and don’t find it that bad other than just feeling a little tired and sick, and they just continue on working at their normal jobs. Others eventually go off dialysis and choose death instead because it’s so bad. I don’t know how many people do that but some do.
All the stuff I’m doing — the website, the blogs, and the videos on YouTube (search on Mike Frandsen, coach mike, kidney transplant, dialysis, etc.), may seem a little over the top, but they’re designed to raise awareness for kidney donation. In some cases some of the stuff is meant to be funny. My other site, www.coachmike.net, was also designed more to raise awareness — about methods of autism therapy than anything else. I believe in what I wrote on the site three years ago just like I believe in this.
I want to raise awareness not just for me but for others too. I recognize that there are a lot of people worse off than me. PKD isn’t as bad as some other problems that cause kidney failure. There are more than 80,000 people waiting for kidneys and more than 11 of them die each day waiting. I’m not on dialysis yet — dialysis can be extremely taxing and many people die on it. So I usually say on the videos, blogs, and website, go to www.matchingdonors.com or www.kidneyregistry.org. Already, over a thousand people have viewed my videos, blogs, and website. Maybe a few of those people will eventually donate to people in the future when they know someone who needs a donation.
A lot of people aren’t aware of the basics of kidney donations and transplants so I suggest to people just going to Google and search on those terms and just spend five minutes reading up on it. Search on “dialysis FAQs,” “kidney donation” or “kidney transplants.”
At the end of this process, I hope that people will know more about the need for and the process of kidney donation. Donors only need one of their two kidneys as long as they’re in good health. You can be out of the hospital in a day or two. Of course, it does take a while longer to recover and get back to work.
Once the recipient gets a kidney, he or she has to take immuno-suppressant drugs forever to minimize the risk of the new kidney being rejected, but other than that, lives a normal life. In fact, Sean Elliott and Alonzo Mourning both played in the NBA after having kidney transplants.