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I donated a kidney to someone I did not know. All I knew was that there were thousands of people out there in need a new kidney as their health was really suffering. I had two kidneys – one of them was a spare. Why wait until I am dead, in the hope my organs would still be viable. I wanted to make sure at least one person benefited now.

It is not just the recipient who benefits from a kidney transplant. It is their whole family! What must it be like to be the spouse, parent, child, best friend etc of someone who you know, just watching them day after day ….. praying they get the life saving phone call to say there is a kidney available.

What must it be like for the person knowing they cannot have as much water as needed when thirsty – because their kidneys cannot process it. Even foods with liquid have to be monitored – fruit, vegetables etc. I am no expert on what is required to keep alive when on dialysis. I just know, having spoken to some people who are – it reduced me to tears. I said to one person “I don’t think I could live the life you live, year after year, with such limitations on what you can eat/drink. Spending three days a week travelling/hooked up to dialysis, week after week, year after year.  The fact you cannot stray too far away in case that life saving phone call comes”. I felt humbled, and ashamed, when he said “you have no choice – you either want to live or you don’t”!

People ask – why should I donate when the family are not! Very simply, just because they have family, does not mean the family are a match. It is more than just being a compatible blood group. Also a lot of people needing a new kidney is because they have a hereditary illness that causes the kidneys to fail. So family members also can have this. Many reasons why someone, other than family, needs to be the donor.

A question I am sometimes asked is why does someone need a kidney when they have dialysis to replace the kidney?

I have to say I was so guilty of that assumption pre donation!! You see pictures in the media of people on dialysis, and to be honest, so often the person looks very healthy as though dialysis is the perfect solution.  I still feel so guilty when I realise how wrong I was. Dialysis is a life support machine. No more, no less. It helps keep people alive until they can get a new kidney. It does NOT replace a kidney, far from it.

So if the thought ever crosses your mind about donating a kidney to someone – anyone – JUST DO IT! It will also be the most rewarding experience you could have.

Read the links on the left of this page under “Become a Donor” to find out what it is like and what the process is. Any questions, just comment on this post or send me a message via the Contact Page – link at top of this page.

I take a personal interest in anyone who wishes to donate and will stay in contact with them, and support them throughout the whole process.

My only regret about donating, is that I have no spare kidneys left to donate. If I had, I would – in a heart beat. I just pray when my time comes to meet my Maker – that my remaining organs are viable and can go to helping other people.

Please sign the organ donor register.

Please consider donating a kidney to someone during your lifetime. Don’t think your age will be against you – people in their 80’s have donated.

To all reading this who are waiting for an organ transplant, or know someone who is – stay strong! Your time will come.

 

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I find it interesting whenever the subject of paying donors for their kidney – the subject of Iran comes up. Iran is the only country where they legally pay their citizens to donate a kidney to another Iranian citizen. News reports praise their scheme saying they do not have any waiting lists for kidney transplants. BUT – which media reports are to be believed. Here are two links re the Iranian kidney donation system. Are these to be believed? Who knows, I have not had the time to investigate to decide. I know at the very bottom of this link it shows the “official” waiting list for transplants in Iran.

I have also read reports that it is still only the rich who benefit. The poor living in outlaying villages who have no money are not even on the waiting lists as they cannot afford to even travel to the hospitals, or if they can no way can they afford the required medication needed after a transplant ……

There are many myths surrounding the Iranian system – which to believe and which not – I am going to try and find out. So if you hear/read of anyone saying paying donors to give a kidney gets rid of waiting lists – look at Iran – then send them to this link.

I am not after debating whether donors should be paid or not, that is an entirely different post altogether. This is about the possibility of media/people implying tht paying donor for their kidneys solves the kidney waiting list.

The case for Iran – to me – is far from proven. I am not saying the information o the link below is 100% correct. This is just it. Which media information we read is correct? I am hoping to find out.

Please read this link: Incentives, kidney donation, and the myth of the Iranian waiting list

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Are you considering donating a kidney either to someone you know or to a stranger?

If so you need to read these pages. You can ask your hospital all the questions you want. But unless the person you are speaking to has actually donated a kidney themselves – they will not know the answers to some of the questions.

Here on Living Kidney Donation website,  you will read a full account of what it is like being a kidney donor.

From the very first appointment “kidney donor evaluation begins” right through every stage of the evaluation, including the operation itself and recovery in the hospital and then recovery at home.

Please also read any comments made on posts as they contain valuable input from other donors or potential  donors.

There are many other links on the site …. all with useful information.

If you want to ask any questions please either post in the comments section below, or if you prefer to keep any questions private, then please contact me via the contact link at the top of the page.

Donating my kidney was the best thing I have ever done. Knowing there is someone out there whose life has totally changed and they are now able to live a full life with their family – is wonderful 🙂

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Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and I so hope 2014 will be a great year for many of you.

Thank you so much for your support of this website. It makes my day when I receive a comment or someone contacts me through the website wanting more information or support through their donation experience.  I love also hearing from recipients, or family members of donors or recipients. Thank you all so much.

I also want to pass my thanks on to all those involved in the kidney donation process. Not just the front line i.e. doctors, co-ordinators, nurses etc  but all those that help to keep the hospitals running smoothly who perhaps we never even get to see.  I have always said, donating a kidney is a great team effort. Without the medical people, caterers, cleaners, administration  and everyone who works at the hospitals – we would not be able to donate.  I cannot list everyone who is involved as to be honest I know there will be some I will leave out – because I don’t even know they exist as their work is behind the scenes.! Great thanks to them and everyone.  you are all so truly appreciated.

People wonder whether Miracles exist – if 200 years ago someone said “one day we will be able to take out an organ from a living person and put it inside another living person – and they will both continue to live” – I am sure they would have been shouted out of town as a mad person. Yet here we are today with this great Miracle happening.  What will the next 50 years bring …..  I find it exciting just thinking about it as I am sure there are huge medical breakthrough that will happen during that time.

For those first timers to this website – thank you for visiting. To find out what it is like being a kidney donor, please check out the links top left of this page under the heading “become a donor”.  I do so hope I can inspire someone to consider donating a kidney, whether it is to a family member or friend who is in need of a kidney – or whether you feel you just want to help anyone – no matter who.  I have never regretted once my donation and only wish I had more spare kidneys as would so willingly donate again.   What greater gift could anyone give or receive.

So … everyone have a really wonderful Christmas and after years and years of trying to find the proof that Santa exists – he was spotted the other night …….. I will leave you all on this wonderful picture to bring smiles and chuckles from many .

Proof at long last

Proof that Santa really does exist

Proof that Santa really does exist

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The charity giveakidney.org – their AGM will be held on Saturday 18 January 2014 from 09:30am at the DoubleTree by Hilton London West End, 92 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4BH.

All are welcome. Mark this date in your diary. More information including Agenda will follow.

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Christmas time is just about upon us. The time of year when “giving” not only gives pleasure but we receive pleasure also when we give.

Have you considered giving the best present ever to someone – a kidney? Okay you won’t be able to do it in time for Christmas but you can start the giving process this Christmas/New Year by seriously considering giving one of your kidneys to a stranger – or even family or friend that you know needs one.

Look at the links on the top left of this page under “Become a Donor”. Read through them as it gives my pesonal account of my own donation. Step by step; test by test I say it as it was. It covers the operation and my recovery in hospital after and my recovery at home.  Read some of the links going across the top of the page for other information.

When I donated my kidney I didn’t think too much about how would I feel about the actual giving of the kidney. I knew I would feel happy I had been able to help someone but it went far deeper than that. I was quite surprised to feel a wonderful deep sense of contentment in my life knowing I had made such a huge difference to someone (and their family).   If I had another spare kidney I would not hesitate to give it to someone else.

I can’t think of a much greater gift to give someone than a second chance at life. You are also giving them back to their family as the family also suffers when a loved one is so ill.

Being on dialysis is not a picnic.  It does not replace the kidney. Dialysis is a form of Life Support. That is all.

With dialysis comes many problems. Not everyone takes to it BUT they have to as that is all that is available if they want to stay alive. That is – unless they get a kidney transplant!

So – we are a nation of givers. It is human nature to help people where we can. Read this website including comments people have given about their own donations or those waiting for a kidney. Look deep inside you – could you help save someone by giving them one of your kidneys.  Believe me, we do not need two. If we did then live kidney donation would not be allowed.  I don’t even know I only have one kidney. My life has not changed at all. Well actually it has. It has changed because donating my kidney has made me more aware of the vulnerabilities of our own bodies and it has made me take extra better care of  myself. I don’t have to take any medications though because of only having one kidney. Nothing in my life has changed except I watch what I eat a bit more. That is out of choice, not necessity.

Please consider giving the best gift of all.

God Bless
With Love to you all

Di
xxxx

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If you want to know what is involved in donating a kidney to a stranger then check out the links on the left of this page under “become a donor”. Gives you step by step description of the evaluation process, the operation recovery in hospital and recovery at home. I say it as it s and don’t gloss over anything.

If you feel you would like to donate, then please contact your local Transplant Center to discuss with them. I will help / support anyone through this. It is good to be able to chat to someone who has been through the donation process and know they understand how you are feeling.

Di Franks

 

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Altruistic Kidney Donation (non-directed) =  is a form of donation whereby a healthy living person is able to donate  a kidney, to someone they do not know. The donor does not have a relationship with the recipient and is not informed who the recipient will be.

Giving someone their life back and giving them back to their family by donating one of your kidneys is a most wonderful thing to do. I cannot think of a better gift to give someone than to give them a second chance at life.

If you want to know more about being a donor then please read this website. Start with the links on the left under “become a donor”. You will hear my own views on the evaluation process I went through at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford. Each stage exactly what the tests were and how I felt about them.  I take you through the operation day, my emotions and thoughts and how I felt physically afterwards. Finally my recovery both the 2 days in hospital and then when at home.

I have not glossed over anything and if there was an aspect I was not happy with, I say so. Also read other peoples comments on my posts as each person can view the donation process differently and also have different reactions during the recovery period.  At the top of this page you will find a link to “Blogs” where people have given me their story both donors and people waiting for a kidney.  The “About” page gives my thoughts on why I wanted to donate etc.

So please start reading about what it is like to be a donor by selecting from the links on the left under “Become a Donor” or start with the first one here:
http://livingkidneydonation.co.uk/altruistic-living-kidney-donor-evaluation.htm

You can also find out more about being an altruistic donor by going to these links:
1) NHSBT (NHS Blood and Transplant) non directed Altruistic donation
2) HTA (Human Tissue Authority) non directed Altruistic donation

What I d know is that given the chance I would donate a kidney again – without hesitation.

Any questions please just ask or contact me directly using the Contact form, link is top right of page.

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Di Franks

<°)))><
.“Take what you have, however little, and do your best with it.”

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http://LivingKidneyDonation.co.uk

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Altruistic Kidney Donors

12 Altruistic Kidney Donors on the Donor Panel

A new charity has been launched 
“Give a Kidney – one’s enough”.
Dr. Chris Burns-Cox, a kidney donor himself, thought it would be a good idea to have a charity which would help promote altruistic kidney donation and also offer support to anyone who wishes to offer their kidney.

300 people a year die in the UK waiting for a kidney transplant and another 6,500 suffer the miseries of kidney failure while they are on the waiting list.

So far 88 people have found this unnacceptable and have given one of their kidneys to a total stranger.

I am one of those people and am also very honoured to be a part of the charity Give a Kidney – one’s enough and am on a panel of donors who, if asked by a potential donor, can speak with them to tell them what it was like being a donor.

To read a donor perspective of altruistic donation then please use the links on the left of this page starting with “Kidney Donation – Evaluation Begins“.

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