At 3:40pm today I received a phone call from my transplant coordinator at Weill-Cornell. They have found a match for me! Unfortunately it's not Derek Jeter. Oh, wait... that's another match I'm waiting for. Hubba, hubba.
I'm so thrilled to receive this news today and much to my surprise, it has come much sooner than I anticipated. I don't know much, other than this: it's a 28 year-old female. (We might have a problem here if it's Snooki.) Apparently her husband wanted to donate his kidney but is not a match for her. Because he is willing to donate his kidney, my kidney donation may be part of a paired donor exchange transplantation! (Watch the video imbedded in the article, it's a great story that explains this process and how if benefits so many.) See, I give mine to my recipient, her husband then gives his to yet another recipient in need, and so on, and so on.
So, what happens now you might ask? Gee, I don't know. Kinda like I haven't really known too much throughout this entire process until it's actually happening. Maybe that's a good thing. I received another phone call today, shortly after the call from Marian (my transplant coordinator). Suzanne, a living donor transplant coordinator from UCLA, called to brief me on my recipient and to explain the next step in this process. Just as I predicted, more blood. I'm not going to have any left at this rate. They will be mailing me a blood test kit and yes, I again will need to get more blood drawn. Immediately after, I will schelp it over to FedEx and overnight it to California. I have a better idea, why don't I go to California and let them draw the blood there. I've never been and could use a little vacation right about now. Once they receive my ziploc 'o blood, they do another round of tests to confirm that I am indeed a match. Within two weeks I should be getting a call to confirm that I'm ok. Soon thereafter, the transplant coordinators schedule my surgery date. Then I need to put down the glass(es) of wine. Kidding. No I'm not. Yes I am.
Throughout this journey I have been doing lots of thinking. Too much, probably. I've been thinking about the 85,000+ people out there that are in need of a kidney and what their days/weeks/months/years are like on dialysis, their quality of life and the pain and discomfort they have to endure every day. I know that I have yet to have my surgery, and that there is going to be pain and discomfort in the near future for me. But it's temporary. It's a very small sacrifice that I have to make that will enable someone to live a full life again, and for longer. I'm reaching out to my audience to please take a moment to review some information about how to be a living kidney donor at the National Kidney Registry's website. As I've said before, I know that this is not for everyone, and I get that. I also know that for many others it's only a matter of educating yourself to feel confident and comfortable about taking steps to become a living kidney donor. I did - please follow me.
Until next time... I'm taking in the sounds, sights and flavors at Saratoga Race Track this weekend - and I can't wait!