Here’s my new video asking for a kidney donation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QU7TPvIQMI. It’s based on Coolio’s song “Gangster’s Paradise.” (Do a youtube search on that to see the original video, which is great). I’m looking for a kidney donor for a transplant that I’ll need in 2010 but the purpose of the video is also to raise awareness for kidney donation for others in need of a kidney. I’m probably the least likely person around to do a rap and to sing, but I did my best (which wasn’t that great) and it was a lot of fun. Special thanks to Martine Marshall who also appeared in my first kidney video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDbIw1d8XLM). Thanks too to Liz Riker for producing.
(Wow. I just looked at the video. I look pretty serious. I was originally planning to do one that was more upbeat but I thought this song fit best for now. Any future ones will be more fun.)
As of October 26, 2009, my kidneys are functioning at 9.1% and getting worse. I have a genetic disease called polycystic kidney disease. See www.mikeneedsakidney.com for updates. Although I’m not on dialysis, my doctors are urging me to get ready for it now. I’m hoping to go directly to transplant because the outcomes of transplants are much better when the recipient hasn’t yet been on dialysis.
I admit that the idea of asking for a kidney in a video or on a website seems unusual, but 15 years ago the idea of meeting someone to date from the internet seemed strange, and now some people get married by meeting that way.
So in the video I mention that in the U.S. there are 80,000 people waiting for kidneys and ten people die each day waiting for a kidney. The average time on the waiting list is three years but it’s five years if your blood type is O. Also, kidney transplants from the waiting list are statistically less successful than those from living donors.
If you want to donate to someone, here are a few websites to check out:
Here are a couple of sites on organ donation:
Or just google “donating kidneys” and see what comes up.
For healthy people, the risks are minimal to donate. Everybody has two kidneys and only needs one. The operation results in some pain, but the donor is out of the hospital in one or two days. All the medical expenses are paid for by the recipient’s insurance.
Again, this isn’t just for myself. I hope to raise awareness for the problem. It’s like for my other website, www.coachmike.net. The main goal never was to get business for myself – I’ve turned down way many more clients than the number who I’ve actually worked for – and I’m very unlikely to add anyone else. Part of the goal of coachmike.net was to raise awareness about autism and my philosophies of what works best.
Anyway, if I can get a donor, that moves everyone else on the list behind me up one spot. If a couple of others ultimately decide to donate because of a website, a video, a blog, or a bumper sticker, then that moves another couple of people up the list. And if a couple of people get the seed planted in their heads and donate five, 10, or 20 years down the line, then that helps as well. So think about that if this seems at all unorthodox or even distasteful to you.
I write like I speak — candidly, honestly, and directly. Some people don’t like it because it’s not always diplomatic or politically correct. But just remember that your friends are the ones who will be honest with you rather than just telling you what you want to hear.
I must have met a bunch of people in the last few years who are really into dog rescue programs, which is great. I just wish people treated people equally as well as they treat dogs. Not necessarily better, just equally as well. We also place a higher importance on recycling tin cans than donating organs.
Besides the music, I borrowed a lot of the lyrics for the video from Coolio. I also snuck in a couple of lines that were tributes to two of the best, earliest and most influential rap songs of all time — “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang and “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. I even got a reference to Len Bias in there.