My name is Donna. I'm 44 years old and have 4 beautiful children. I'm trying to raise money for my husband Darren . Who just turned 41. He was diagnosed 3 years ago with Nephrotic Syndrome, Kidney Failure ! We've come a long way but life is still in STUCK mood. Darren goes to dyalisis every other day from 6:30am to 12 noon. Darren is on the waiting list for a transplant. Since the waiting list is 5 years, we needed more options.. We went to St Barnabas to look into a kidney exchange. I would give someone a kidney and Darren would be able to receive a kidney. When going to get educated for kidney exchange , we also found out about incompatible couples. Where as even though Darren and I are not the same blood type there could still be a chance for me to give the greatest gift I could ever give Darren, my kidney !! The hospital calls it Tighters. The hospital takes our blood and sees what number we are together and if Darren's blood resist my blood. The hospitals will not do incompatible couples if their numbers are higher than 128 . With Darren and my surprise ... Our number was as low as 32 !! This was a miracle !!! I CAN GIVE DARREN MY KIDNEY !! With great news, there's always bad news. Since science is quicker than insurance companies, we found out that Medicare will NOT pay for the treatments Darren needs before transplant. The treatments he needs is called plasmapheresis . Darren only needs 4 of these treatments since our numbers are so low. For one treatment it cost $5,000 , again Darren needs 4. I'm trying to raise this money for these treatments so I can give the man I love and the father of my children a wonderful gift... My kidney !!! Now 4 times $5,000 .. I know is $20,000 !! I'm asking for an extra $5,000 to cover house expenses and trips back and forth to the hospital after transplant. My hopes and dreams are ... 1) for insurance companies to get on the ball, it cost $50,000 dollars a month for Darren to get dyalisis, times that by 5 or more years ( if you make it ) or start having medicare pay for these incompatible couples whose numbers are low enough to be able to do these transplants ... And start saving lives !! And 2) ... For Darren and I and our 4 children to start a NEW HEALTHY HAPPY CHAPTER in " our lives " !!!! So this was the plan when I first started this page. But as most of you that has been following our journey, know that Darren was able to receive a perfect matched kidney thru the kidney exchange. The kidney exchange is were I ( Donna ) donated my kidney so that my husband Darren can receive a kidney. We did the kidney exchange on Dec 18th 2013 !!! The person who got my kidney is from Virginia, I hear she is doing well. Darren received a kidney from a person in Ohio. That person is also doing great. We all are doing great !!! St Barnabas did a 6 couple kidney exchange transplant that day on Dec 18th 2013 !! Even though I did not give Darren my kidney, I still was able to save his life but donating !! And on top of that I was able to save someone else's life too !! Couldn't have asked for it any other way !!! So if you know someone who is dealing with kidney failure send them to St Barnabas, they can help !!! We still have many expenses to take care of and on top of that we both are not working right now . Please help ...
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Donna Schuster 
Easton, PA
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