Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

theskypebandit t1_j4rf503 wrote

I donated my kidney to a close friend in April 2022 and let me say, the vigorous testing before the surgery is way more intense than the actual surgery/recovery as a donor. The way it was explained was that if you are viable for a donation but not matching in any regard (blood and/or tissue type) then they put you into a national database (as least here in the US) where they pair you up with another similar situation pair. Lucky for us we were the same blood and tissue type. All in all, if anyone out there is curious in donating, I recommend reading up about it to see what it entails. I could probably answer any questions too


ClassBShareHolder t1_j4seatm wrote

What’s involved? And are there age limits? I’m 52. I’ve thought about doing it for years but it’s not easy to find info.

My daughter’s roommate and brother are both going to need kidneys.

I finally took the step of emailing health services (twice) and haven’t heard anything back.

It surprised me that it would take more than a couple days to get a response.


Specific_Stuff t1_j4sp46t wrote

My mother did an altruistic donation late last year. She ended up having to go through two different organizations as the first organization was basically in shambles after covid. It was a lot of rigorous blood tests and endurance tests over the span of a few months. She is 63 and we were told that her recipient is a woman of similar age with polycystic kidney disease. Thanks to her donation I am now on a list where, if I ever need a kidney donation, I will be a higher priority organ recipient.


theskypebandit t1_j4t21re wrote

This was my experience too, I went all the way through one organization and got up to donation day only for some last minute blood testing showing that my recipient has an infection. They were so slow on treating it and we decided to go through another organization closer to her home (I’m in CA while she is in AZ). The second organization fast-tracked us through the process (more testing in a smaller timeframe, first time around took months while second time took 2 weeks) due to my prior approval. Had a date for the surgery scheduled in a month.


theskypebandit t1_j4t5m9q wrote

A ton of testing to determine if you’re a viable candidate for the person you’re donating to. The restrictions are typically pretty strict, no pre-existing issues that would affect you after the fact. The main purpose of the testing isn’t to make sure you’re a viable candidate, it’s to make sure you’ll be fine afterwards.

You’d get a complete work up on yourself, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about your kidneys & blood medically. A lot of urinating into containers and people checking in on you. I learned through this process that both my kidneys have 2 renal arteries, which don’t serve any purpose. They tell you that the anatomy of your kidneys can disqualify you, basically if the surgeon doesn’t feel comfortable, they won’t operate.

My recipients mother was going to donate (58), completely compatible, but they didn’t move forward because there was a vein wrapped around the ureter. Like she’s fine but the surgeon didn’t feel comfortable.

You’ll meet with the following:

A kidney doctor (can’t remember the official name off the top of my head, sorry kidney doctors reading this thread!)

A psychologist(PTSD and post donation depression are REAL and the psychologist makes sure you’re fine mentally)

A social worker (to make sure you’d thought it through, and that you have a recovery plan. You need someone to take care of you while recovering since you can’t drive or lift anything heavier than 4lb. for a week at least. The recovery plan is key, have an idea of who’s gonna take care of you before you go in)

A dietician (makes sure you’re eating healthy and that your diet is maintainable and not going to hurt you. They require that you have a BMI below 30. I had a BMI of 32 the first time around and they conditionally approved me to move forward if I lost weight before the surgery, which I did)

A nurse coordinator (the main correspondent you’ll be talking to. This person is typically the one scheduling everything with you and telling you what’s next. My nurse coordinator was amazing, she was so sweet & made the whole process seamless).

As far as the surgery, I’ve been told by a few women that the incision/scarring is very similar to a C-section with an exception: there’s also 3 incisions made on your stomach where a probe is used to cut the kidney loose. They also pump your torso full of CO2 and leave it in there when they’re done, you’ll need to sleep on your back for a while or risk some terrible pain in your shoulder if laying on your side.


ClassBShareHolder t1_j4t9mom wrote

Thanks. I’m wasn’t planning on donating to anyone specifically but now I’m planning on donating for someone. I assumed they’d check to make sure I’m healthy so no surprises.

Note to figure out why they’re not blowing up my phone trying to get the process started.

I may have to be a little more proactive than just an email asking how I go about donating a kidney.


twirlingbunny t1_j5ruy97 wrote

Hi. My daughter is almost 2 years old and on dialysis. If you seriously consider live donation, it would mean everything to me if you named my daughter as the voucher recipient on the National Kidney Registry form. Let me know if you decide to or need more information. Have a wonderful day. DM me.


ClassBShareHolder t1_j5rw78k wrote

I am in Canada and know 2 people that need. That’s why the sudden urgency to get something on the go.

I wish you luck. As a parent, I can’t imagine the pain you must be dealing with right now.


Fdashboard t1_j4tonv8 wrote

Who ends up paying for all of this? I've been interesting in becoming a donor, but was wondering if I should switch to a better insurance beforehand.


theskypebandit t1_j4tr4zc wrote

The testing in my case was paid for by the organization doing the testing. Typically the recipients insurance pays for everything in the hospital and any medication needed (pain was minimal, literally just was taking Tylenol) I didn’t have to pay for anything at all for my hospital stay except the place I stayed in while recovering after discharge and that was of my own choice. I didn’t even have to tell my insurance. The other thing I forgot to mention is that they require you to stay within roughly a half hour of the hospital in case you have complications. Typically the organization will help you find somewhere to stay/offer you a place to stay for cheap.


ChristmasMeat t1_j4su0ee wrote

52 is fine, just need to be healthy. If you've not heard back I'd look to contact transplant directly.


ClassBShareHolder t1_j4t9u87 wrote

That’s my next plan. I’m pretty busy so I thought firing off a quick email over the holidays would get things rolling. Apparently not.


twirlingbunny t1_j6dxvxp wrote

Are you in the US?


ClassBShareHolder t1_j6e0i0a wrote

Canada. They’ve finally got back to me. Now I’m waiting to see if if I’m rejected because of low grade prostate cancer.


LeafsChick t1_j4t6ok2 wrote

My uncle (moms brother) tried to donate his to my Dad. Went through a ton of test, psych stuff. One of the last tests they found cancer (I forget where, one of his organs), and whatever kind it was they said he probably wouldn’t have found till the symptoms were really bad and it would have been terrible to treat. So he couldn’t donate, but wound up being a massive blessing!