Has anyone here ever donated a kidney?

nookieApril 7, 2005

My DF needs to have a kidney transplant in the very near future and I might be a candidate. I'm willing to do this but I must admit that I'm kinda' scared. We have a long history of diabetes in the family and with two big babies and gestational diabetes in my first pregnancy I risk having diabetes in the future. That would be a problem. What happened if I did donate and then got diabetes later? Would the fact that I only had one kidney left put me in danger? It doesn't look as though anyone else is willing to do this for him because frankly he doesn't take care of himself as he should. Although I strongly agree with them I feel that if anything ever happened and I could have prevented it but didn't I could never live with the guilt.

I have read up on transplants on the net but really need to talk to someone who has actually donated a kidney to learn from their experience. Can anyone here help me out?

Karen

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lazy_gardens

Talk to his transplant organizer and YOUR doctor about the risks for you.

We are ABSOLUTELY UNQUALIFIED to advise you on this matter.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 5:43PM
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trekaren

My DH is a cadaver kidney recipient. He lost his due to 22 years of diabetes. I can walk you thru what we went through, during the decision process.

His siblings were climbing all over each other to donate theirs, but since diabetes is prevalent in his family, he decided to decline (both his brother and sister who offered have kids of their own and he thought if the parents end up with diabetes, their only remaining kidney would be at risk and he didn't want their kids to risk losing parents).

At that time we didn't have kids yet. I didn't get tested for some of the same reasons. First, I also have a lot of diabetes risk due to family history, and second, we knew we'd eventually want to have kids, and though you can have kids with one kidney, the risk of carrying a child is greatly increased.

Finally, Emory University was initiating kidney-pancreas transplants. The thought was, if you still have diabetes after you receive the transplant, the life expectancy of the donated organ is lower than if you were not diabetic. So why not try to see if the pancreas would work?

We figured we didn't have anything to lose by trying (normally cadaver pancreas is not utilized). DH was the third KP transplant Emory did. They now do over 200 a year.

He lost the initial pancreas, but 2 years later, he got a secondary pancreas only transplant, and it succeeded. So in his case, he's been normal-blood-sugar since 1998. In theory, his new kidney should last as long as a non-diabetic person's kidneys would.

The dialysys and wait for the initial transplant was nearly two years, but only a little over a year of that were we actually on the waiting list (it takes some time to treat initial renal failure, then some time to get approved for a transplant).

We are very grateful to both of his cadaver donors. We also knew the person who received the liver from the same donor we got the second pancreas from, and I saw that liver work a true miracle in that family's lives.

SIDE NOTE TO OUR DONORS:

THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU WHOEVER YOU WERE! And thanks to your loved ones and families who made such a phenomenally difficult decision.

Know that we now have a 7 year old daughter we would not have without that kidney, and also that DH takes great care of himself, and is doing wonderfully.

So far, his sister has developed thyroid disease, and his brother developed Type 2 diabetes, so we do not regret turning their generous offer away.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 7:38PM
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nookie

Thankyou so much Karen for taking the time to help me out. I've sent you an e-mail.

Karen

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 5:00AM
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junelynn

My sister needed a kidney. I wanted to give her one of mine. My Dr. said NO! Let her get a cadavar kidney. If you have a problem with the one kidney after you've donated, you are in trouble and could die.

Turned out my diabetic sister had a major problem with the doner kidney due to blood flow (not rejection) and she died from a heart infarction. This was in 1989.

Be careful!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 4:55PM
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