Most of you know that with the extreme difficulties in basic communication at University of Cincinnati, we have chosen to double-list at Ohio State University – Wexner Transplant Center in Columbus. Both are about an hour’s drive (without traffic) from Dayton. A month ago we had an initial consult at OSU and liked what we saw. It’s ranked #35 in the country. It’s a much larger facility, performs about 5x the number of kidney transplants/year as UC, and is both updated (online donor assessment forms) and organized (we already are assigned to a surgeon and his team.)
What we did:
Yesterday we spend about 4 1/2 hours in consults. This included some basic medical stuff from Mike, including seventeen (that’s right, 17!!!) vials of blood drawn. We met for the longest time with the social worker, who does a full workup. We also met with the surgeon, surgeon’s assistant, nurse, and financial coordinator. In a couple of weeks, the entire case will go before the selection committee (which includes all these people) and we will get the official thumbs up. We anticipate no problems, based on already being listed at UC and having no significant issues in the past year.
What double listing is:
“The List” means TWO things. First, it means you are on a literal list (of sorts) with 1000s of other people who need a kidney. When it’s your time (often 3-5 years) you become eligible for a Cadaver kidney. Now, a cadaver kidney is better than no kidney. But with its need to be shipped and revived, and its higher risks of rejection, and shorter viability (up to 10 years) it’s not the best option by any means. Cadaver donors are listed regionally first. So we would be on this cadaver donor list in both the Cincinnati and Columbus regions.
The Second thing this means is we have been cleared for transplant. That means we can find our own Live donor and schedule transplant (often in as little as 2 months with an approved donor!). Donor kidneys are live, viable, have less risk of rejection and require fewer lifetime meds. They also last much longer (20+ years). Also Mike would be eligible for the Kidney Exchange or Paired Kidney Donation. This is where two transplant patients have donors who are not a match for their loved one/friend, but are a match for the other patient. In this case, kidneys can be swapped (simultaneously) so everyone comes out ahead!
We need YOUR help:
We really need your help. You can do a couple of small things. You can list this website on your social media (all social media places). You can link to the donor info website and form. You can educate yourself about kidney donation (The More You KNOW, right?) You can do that by reading through /watching the Gallery right on this website. [Your single kidney works for 2! It’s laparoscopic surgery! You’re out in 3 days! No lifetime meds! We pay for it all!]
A couple of medium things. You can tell people you know and people who know Mike that they could help save his life by sharing their spare kidney. I can send you info and info cards to place strategically at your church or small group or help you talk about kidney donation. You can find creative ways to get the message out there so it doesn’t only fall on us. You can call/write notes/ send cards/ pray/ make a video/ ….. to remind Mike he is valuable and loved and not alone.
A big thing. You can fill out the donor assessment form. You can consider sharing your spare kidney with Mike. You can change and save a life. FORM-scroll to purple button
What we Don’t Know:
We don’t know anything about anyone who calls, fills in a donor form, goes through blood/tissue testing, is approved for donation generally or for Mike. It is ALL CONFIDENTIAL. Because of this we cannot thank you for your gift and consideration unless you tell us you signed on. This also means we don’t know if six people have filled out that form or sixty people. We. Don’t. Know. After a year of hoping, it’s easy to get discouraged… this confidentiality is good! It protects all y’all! But it keeps us entirely in the dark.
So we wait on the official ok at OSU.
We wait on a kidney donor.
We wait on mercy and we wait on strength to continue on.
Thank you for your help. Your prayers. Your support. Your encouraging Mike who makes a decision three days a week to get out of the house at 5:15am and be hooked up by needles into a machine to stay alive. Please help us get the word out. Please prayerfully consider kidney donation.