Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My mentor

Hi kids. You can read my new post over on 'Pay it Forward', with the Times Union bloggers, here. 

I have chatted about my living kidney donor mentor, Cara Yesawich, in the past here, and felt it was important to include her in my conversation about my donation journey on the Times Union's site. She was a very special presence in my life then, and is still now.

Cara Yesawich, my living kidney donor mentor.

I encourage all prospective donors to reach out to another donor as they embrace their experience. I know I couldn't have done this without her, and I truly believe it can enhance your journey in more ways than one.

Feel free to contact me if you should want to find more resources in the community. Having a buddy to hold your hand as you walk through this process can make all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

etsy kidney find

PKD Awareness Double Kidney Pendant Necklace 

Love this.

Had to share this piece with everyone. If you're not familiar with etsy, you need to be. I could spend hours on here. I could also spend thousands of dollars on here. Love this site for unique gifts - for me.

What's even nicer about this piece is that the artist will donate $25 to the PKD Foundation for every necklace sold. I'm gonna get me one.

Monday, April 9, 2012

pay it forward: intrigue and information

Please stop over and see my most recent post at

I'm sharing my journey with readers on the 'Pay it Forward' blog, where you can also read about some great people doing some great things. Mary Kenney has been generous enough to let me share some of the real estate there, and I'm excited about this opportunity.

Thanks, Mary!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

pay it forward

I'm pleased as punch to announce my presence on the's 'Pay it Forward' blog!

I have been an avid reader/viewer/snooper of the Times Union's (TU) blogs for many years now and never really thought that someday I would be a contributor.  This past summer, I was contacted by the TU to contribute to their many bloggers online. I was up to my elbows in martinis alligators, and knew I didn't have time to dedicate to more work. Times have changed, and when they contacted me again in early 2012, I decided this was something that I not only wanted to do, but needed to do.

I will be joining Mary Kenney, on 'Pay it Forward', where I will share my story about my donation, along with some other sarcastic commentary I feel I need to vent weekly to those that are bored enough to visit. Mary and I share the same philosophy, the same cravings for margaritas, and a helluva head of hair. She's the total package and I'm blessed to have made this connection with someone so special. Plus, she's smart. I love smart people.

So, give us a try and tune in often to see what kind of goodness and genuine concern we can bring to the table.

My introductory post is up today, stop in and see me! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

harvey mysel needs a kidney

In April of 2009, I was only in the beginning stages of researching kidney donation. I was having a tough time finding specific information I wanted, and needed, to know. As I mentioned in my first post on this blog, I found a man by the name of Harvey Mysel, on Facebook.

Harvey Mysel

Harvey was the one that I credit for providing me with the much needed information on how to donate a kidney. I am forever grateful for his time and patience. He is a kind soul, and is passionate about his foundation: The Living Kidney Donors Network.

Harvey needs a kidney. I can't do his story justice, but what I can do is help to advocate for him to find a kidney. Please take a moment to read his story, and understand how you can help Harvey find a donor....

Harvey Mysel – Kidney Transplant Update March 1, 2012

The transplanted kidney I received in 2007 has been damaged as a result of the BK Virus I contracted. While the BK Virus is rare and terribly unfortunate, recent studies show that patients who have had the BK Virus do well when re-transplanted. To read more about the BK Virus go to:

I would be honored if you would serve as an advocate to let others know about my need. To do that you’ll need to know a few key things about being a kidney donor:

We are born with an extra kidney. Studies show that kidney donors live a normal, healthy life with only one kidney and were no more likely to suffer kidney failure. Go to: to read a study from the “New England Journal of Medicine” about kidney donors’ health after their transplant. (An interesting fact to realize is 1 in every 750 people are born with one kidney and their life expectancy is the same as someone who is born with 2 kidneys.)

As a result of the new anti-rejection drugs, the “matching” of donor/recipient has become much easier. For situations where the donor/recipient are not compatible, “kidney paired exchange” programs allow these donors to be paired and matched with other incompatible pairs. To learn more about the matching process go to: For more information about kidney paired exchanges go to:

I’m blood type A, and can receive a kidney from a blood type O or A. Interestingly 85% of the population is one of these 2 blood types. The (+) and the (-) after the blood type is not a factor for kidney transplants. If a donor has an incompatible blood type, a kidney paired exchange program becomes an option.

Organ donors need to be in good health, without high blood pressure, kidney, heart, liver or other major health issues. For more details on donor qualifications go to:

Donating a kidney involves a major surgical procedure, and the donor is usually in the hospital 1- 3 days.  The recuperation period is anywhere from 14 - 21 days for those with an office job, and about 6 weeks if the individual’s work entails more physical labor. The majority of the procedures are done laparoscopically, with 3 - 4 small holes for the instruments. A small incision is made to remove the transplanted kidney. Medical expenses relating to the transplant are paid by the recipient’s (my) insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield). Donors could be reimbursed for lost wages or travel expenses.

If you would like to learn more about the donation process, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss it in detail with you.

I am working with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In 2010, they performed 167 living kidney transplants, ranking them as the #2 hospital in the U.S. You could contact their Independent Living Donor Advocate, Jami Hanneman, MSW, LCSW, CCTSW 312-695 0828 who could answer questions (confidentially) and coordinate donor activity.

Please feel free to pass this information along to your family members and/or friends. Telling them about my situation will raise awareness and the potential of finding a compatible donor.

I greatly appreciate your support and concern.


I ask that any of you in the donor community with a blog or website to please share Harvey's story. Exposure is critical in increasing the pool of available donors for Harvey, and I can't think of a more worthy recipient.

We love you and pray for you, Harvey.