As many of you know, Lisa has ADPKD, a hereditary disease that eventually causes kidney failure.
You can read more about PKD here, but the important thing to know is that it takes normal, healthy kidneys and causes them to grow huge cysts, ballooning the kidneys to 20-30 pounds EACH and making them the size of footballs! This causes the kidneys to fail, along with making its sufferers struggle with the pain, fatigue and illness that comes along with huge kidneys and chronic kidney disease. There is no cure for PKD and the only treatment is dialysis or transplant.
Figure from the University of Kansas
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 7 Americans are estimated to have chronic kidney disease.
So where are we in the process?
Lisa is undergoing the pre-transplant evaluations/screenings to be eligible for the official transplant list. After she is officially on the list, my insurance will allow me to be tested to determine if I am a true match. A preliminary blood type test has been completed which confirmed that our blood types will match up.
Matching compatibility for kidney donation is a tough process; cross-matching antigens and antibodies can be tricky, and it's not often that people are a match when they want to be. My plan is to donate one of my kidneys to my wife if all the compatibility tests determine that I am a match. What this means though is that we will both need to take time off work to recuperate.
Why are we fundraising?
We have health insurance, but long-gone are the days of 100% health care coverage in the US. There are numerous expenses that we will incur before and after our surgeries including deductibles and co-insurance for the following:
* Pre-transplant evaluations and testing
* The surgery itself (including surgeons and operating staff fees and anesthesia)
* Time spent in ICU
* Post-Op physical therapy and rehab
* Anti-rejection medications (madatory for the rest of her life totalling up to $6100/month)
* Lost wages for Larry (out of work up to month) and Lisa (out of work up to 3 months)
* Numerous (3/wk first month alone) post-op doctors visits and ongoing treatment
*Travel (Vanderbilt is 5 hours away)
* Lodging expenses before/after discharge from hospital to stay close for post-op visits
The actuarial company Milliman estimates the average billed charges in the US for a kidney transplant in 2017 was $414,800.
Once again, thanks for considering donating, it's greatly appreciated! Even a $5 donation adds up! If you cannot spare a donation, please share and spread the word.
Quote: Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference. Kathy Calvin CEO & President of the United Nations Foundation