PKD is a genetic disorder that causes numerous cysts to grow in the kidneys until kidney function is reduced to failure. He is preparing to start dialysis and requires surgery to remove his kidneys while he continues to wait on the transplant list. He is 39 years old, has been married to his wife Shadzeeda since 2003, and lives in Everett, WA. They enjoy fishing, camping, and spending time with family and friends. Being able to participate in these activities has been increasingly challenging as the disease has progressed with worsening symptoms.
I have never met Neil before, but something tugged at my heart when I learned of his need. After prayerful consideration, extensive research, and the full support of my husband, Steve, I decided to undergo medical testing to discover whether or not I was a match. After my husband and I were informed that I am indeed a match for Neil in March of 2018, there was very little that could hold us back from continuing with the living donation process.
The surgery must take place in Seattle, WA but my husband and I live in Northern NJ. All medical testing and the surgery itself will be fully covered by both The Living Donor Program at the Univeresty of Washington Medical Center and Neil’s insurance, but there are many out-of-pocket expenses that will not be covered. The purpose of this fund is to cover some of these costs, which will include lost wages during the recovery period and travel expenses (airfare, car rental, gas, lodging, meals, etc.) for both me and my husband. Steve and I will have to travel to Seattle twice—once for medical testing and once for the actual surgery. After surgery, Steve and I will have to stay in Seattle for 1-2 weeks for post-operative appointments before returning to NJ.
Our fundraising goal has actually been decreasing because several good samaritans have already offered us lodging in their Seattles homes and have also offered to pay for our airfare. We feel truly blessed by the ways God has been providing for us through these different people.
It should go without saying that I am nervous about having major elective surgery. However, I feel extremely blessed and fortunate that I am very healthy. If I am able to save a life by giving away something I don’t necessarily need, then that is something I really want to do. Neil may be a stranger (for now), but I could not turn a blind eye knowing that he needs something I have a “spare” of, even if what he needs is an organ.
By law, it is illegal for living donors to financially benefit from organ donation. Any funds that will be unused or raised in excess will be donated to Neil and his family to assist with medical expenses.
I will also be documenting my entire journey on my personal Instagram page. You can follow me @janelleliubang.
If you are unable to donate, it would mean just as much if you could please SHARE this page and support us through prayer.
- Susan Kim
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