My mom Betty was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease in the summer of 2013. I told her at the very beginning that I would donate one of mine to her.
Four years later, she told me her kidneys were barely working and said it was time to look into a transplant. I told her again that she could have one of mine, and I know she was hesitant about accepting my offer, but I had zero reservations about following through. If I could help, I was going to.
I went online that same day and completed the living donor paperwork on UNMC’s website. I began the testing process in August 2017 and we found out a few months later that I was a perfect match!
On December 13, 2017, we had our surgeries and both went perfectly. My kidney “pinked right up” and began working right away for my mom.
For the next 3 years, it served her well and she was able to travel with my dad and continue to enjoy retirement. She passed away in December 2020 after contracting Covid-19, but her kidney was a rockstar until the very end. While I wish she had more years with it, at least she had 3 more than she would have had otherwise.
I want people to know more about being a living donor. The testing process wasn’t that bad and while I know everyone has a different recovery story, mine was relatively easy with no complications. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
So many people could be helped on the waiting list if more people stepped up to help others.