It means I love you…?
How many times have you said/heard/read the words “I’d give you/her/him a kidney”. We say it to our best friends, to our loved ones, to our children. It’s seemingly synonymous with “I love you”. But how many people actually mean it?
In the summer of 2015 my husband was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. He’s been on daily dialysis ever since. Although he’s on the waiting list for a new kidney, we were told that his best chance is a love donor.
His brother was the first person to spring to mind as a donor, as it’s said that fraternal matches tend to be the closest. Unfortunately, for personal reasons, he declined to donate.
Then my husband’s best friend – the best man at our wedding – came forward to get tested. He went through months of testing, only to pull out at the last minute for personal reasons.
With no other family or close friends to offer, I felt that the ball had landed in my court. We had previously considered and dismissed the idea of me donating because we have two children. It would mean that both parents would be out of action whilst recovering from surgery, and childcare would fall to my extended family. There were other considerations too: Would work allow me to take sick leave, for what is essentially elective surgery? Would the children have to miss school? Who would help us through our post-op recovery?
In spite of the doubts, complications, difficulties and worries, I have decided to give my husband my kidney. My rationale is simple: In the absence of any other live donors, I cannot in good conscience sit idly by and watch my husband’s health deteriorate. Not when I have the power to do something about it.
Am I scared? You bet!
But am I sure? Heck yeah!!
And in the meantime, if I can raise awareness of kidney disease and of the donation process, it’s the least I can do.
Donation, donation, donation
The day I decided to donate my kidney, I also decided to donate a portion of my sales to Kidney Research UK, so that other families like mine can get the help and support they need now and in the future.
I may well post more about my experiences as the weeks and months go by, so please follow my journey and help me spread the word.
Who would you give a kidney to?