013. Mike needed a kidney transplant, & some help with social media. Andrea answered the call…with some unexpected results.
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Mike was just seven years old when he lost his father to kidney disease, and many years later he learned that he was at an advanced stage of the inherited condition called polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and his kidneys were slowly failing. 2019 was a very challenging year and Mike experienced multiple medical issues. He knew he needed a transplant, and that the waitlist was long and with no guarantees.
Mike started researching how to go about receiving a kidney from a living donor, and he came across resources from “The Big Ask, The Big Give,” a program of The National Kidney Foundation. Asking for a kidney can be awkward, and using social media is a whole different world for someone who never used Facebook, so Mike needed a champion. In this episode he shares how before he asked for a kidney, he had to ask for help, and navigate the pandemic at the same time.
Meanwhile, Mike’s niece Andrea had never thought very much about donating an organ until she heard Uncle Mike’s story. In the second part of this episode, Andrea shares with us how she came to the realization that she could do something significant to help. She also discusses how gifting a kidney has opened up a new and unexpected richness in her life, including her involvement with Kidney Donor Athletes, and a recent trip to Mount Kilimanjaro.
With host and series producer Rolf Taylor.
Resources mentioned during this episode:
The Big Ask, The Big Give, NKF www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors
Kidney Donor Athletes www.kidneydonorathlete.org/
Kidney Transplant Conversations is underwritten by Veloxis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All views and opinions expressed in the podcast reflect those of the participants and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Veloxis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“I’m not very media savvy, let’s put it that way. I don’t do any social things on the internet because I’m an old guy. They said find someone to be your champion. My daughter-in-law volunteered for this project.”
“What happened to me was a miracle because if you look at kidney transplants for people my age, it’s really low, when I got my transplant, I was 69.”
“The next words she said were “I’m approved as a donor for Uncle Mike. It just came out of the blue! We had no idea that she went through all these tests. She didn’t want anyone to know in case she could not help.”
“It has been one of the best things that I have done in my life. I’m just so grateful for the doctors and for science and for all the support that I was able to find. I was so blessed to be able to give this gift.”
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