“Hi Mike, I just got off the phone with xxx from xxx, they are not going to let me donate. I am so upset. they said my GFR is too low, it was at xx and they said that a person of my age should be closer to xx. I dont know what to do. I am sorry. I am kind of in shock right now. but I wanted you to hear it from me. she will be contacting you as well to let you know, I dont know, I feel pretty numb right now. I am sorry.”
I was given permission by xxxx to let you know that she has been ruled out as a living kidney donor candidate due to the results of her kidney function tests. She was very disappointed as I am sure you are as well.
If you have other donors who would like to be tested please have them call our office.”
The first quote is from the person who was going to be my donor. The second is from the contact at the hospital.
My kidney function has fallen to 6.8 percent. The latest graph at www.mikeneedsakidney.com should reflect that when I get it updated in about a week.
Why am I so up front about all of this? First, of course, to get a kidney donor. Getting one from the list may take a few more years, and even if I get one from the list, they usually aren’t as good as ones from live donors. And I definitely want to avoid dialysis.
But another reason I do all this, including all the videos on www.mikeneedsakidney.com, is to try to create awareness. There are 80,000 people on the kidney waiting list in the U.S. and more than 10 people die each day waiting. Donating means going through a bunch of tests, then spending about a day and a half in the hospital to recover from the surgery, though the donor would be out of commission for a little while after that. And people who donate live longer than those who don’t. Of course, that’s partly because you have to meet a certain threshold of health to be eligible to donate.
Anyway, one of the things I’ve learned throughout this process is that you can tell a lot about people. I feel like Adam after he ate the apple. I’ve lost my innocence and I’ve gained knowledge, but I wish I didn’t have that knowledge. “Knowledge” meaning what people are really like. So how they are when times get tough becomes magnified in a situation like this. If someone is loyal, that becomes magnified. If someone runs, that becomes amplified.
I’m not suggesting that people need to donate, offer to donate or even consider it to be loyal. But some people refuse to even respond to an email when all it would take would be to say something as short as, “Good luck.” Others don’t even reply when you ask them to do something as simple as putting a www.mikeneedsakidney.com bumper sticker on their cars.
The worst is when you go out of your way to help someone for eight months and then they betray you. So that’s very discouraging and I can’t believe I’m getting more jaded at 40 and less optimistic about people than I was before. But I got over that, mostly, a long time ago.
On the other hand, it says a lot when someone does take 30 seconds to write in an email, “I hope it works out.” It’s very interesting and enlightening to see which people are loyal and honorable, and which ones would curl up in the fetal position and run away during a crisis.
Still, I’d rather not know who is loyal and honorable and who isn’t. I’d rather just give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But it’s too late for that.