Kidney Transplant Expenses

Greetings!

My Story
In 2014, I was fortunate enough to receive a life-saving double lung transplant. Having this extra time has allowed me to continue to do fulfilling work for a cause that I love, it's allowed me to see my amazing nephew grow up, and it's allowed me to be able to help my mom as she has gotten up in age. I've been incredibly fortunate and I can truly say that I am genuinely very happy with my life. Read my blog .

I'm raising money because there are multiple scenarios in which a living donor may incur out-of-pocket expenses in order to donate a kidney to me. To be clear, my insurance will cover all medical costs for both me and my donor. However, potential donors may have to come into town for testing, needing lodging, food, and transportation costs covered. They would need to come stay in Durham for the surgery for at least a week. Also, the donor will miss some amount of work for which sick leave or other paid time off may not be available. I may also have the need for an out-of-town caregiver for several weeks after surgery. None of these travel, lodging, missed work, or other living costs are covered by medical insurance. I do not want money to be an obstacle for any potential living donor. If you are able to donate something to help, I would be incredibly grateful.


Why I Need A Kidney
Due to years of antibiotics before my lung transplant, diabetes due to my cystic fibrosis since I was 15, and, since my transplant, nephrotoxic anti-rejection medications running through my veins, my kidneys have taken a real beating. I have been in stage IV of kidney disease (stage V is total failure or needing dialysis) for the last several years. For the most part, my kidney numbers have remained stable. But during the last 1.5 years, the numbers have been on a gradual downward trend. By July of 2020, they had dipped low enough to qualify me for the kidney transplant list. I was put on the list as "inactive," meaning that I would be accumulating valuable wait time while not being "actively" in need of a kidney.

Living With Advanced Kidney Disease
My decline has caused a slow progression of me slowing down, having more fatigue, brain fog. I frequently have swelling in my ankles and legs. (Generally, working at home during Covid has made keeping my feet up much easier and helped a lot.) I have frequent headaches, and periods of nausea come and go. I get random muscle cramps. The "kidney diet" is by far the most difficult part of advanced kidney disease. It calls for removal of salt, potassium, and phosphorus. Potassium and Phosphorus might seem minor, but they are in a LOT of delicious foods including dairy products, nuts, meat, potatoes, avocados, and bananas.

Are You My Living Kidney Donor?
Because a deceased donor kidney would be years away and have other drawbacks, I am need of finding a living donor. Living donor kidneys can last twice as long and generally come with fewer complications. If you feel called to test to become a living donor, you may complete the self-referral survey located on the Living Donor Kidney Transplant page. While donating a kidney is no small thing, hospital stays are generally short and the living donors who I've spoken to would donate again in a heartbeat.


Thank you for your support!!

Laura
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • brendan heenan 
    • $100 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 7 mos
  • Mary Chaney 
    • $100 
    • 7 mos
See all

Organizer

Laura Smith 
Organizer
Durham, NC

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