Another chance at life, another 25 years that I wasn’t guaranteed to have. I was 34 years old when I was diagnosed with a genetic disease, passed to me from my mother; Polycystic Kidney Disease. This disease took so much of my life away. I tried to carry on with a normal life by continuing to work, staying active, and trying my best to be the old me, but I was sick. My kidneys were failing at stage 3-4 and my only way to continue with a halfway normal life was through dialysis and a renal diet. Years of waiting patiently for a phone call that would give me a new chance at living. I finally got that call! In early morning of April 1996 at 49 years old, I got the phone call from Ohio State University Hospital, they had a match and I needed to get there ASAP. I got my transplant kidney from incredible person who put their name on the registry. Because of them, I got another 25 years of life that I truly thought I would never see. I got to marry again after my first wife passed in a car accident and have another child to watch grow to adulthood. Because of one person’s donation of a life giving organ, I got a second chance at life.
As a daughter of a kidney recipient, organ donation has and will forever be held dear to my heart. My father wouldn’t have lived long if it wasn’t for the generosity of someone putting their name on the registry. Because of that person’s kindness, my father survived and was able to meet my mother and have me. My father’s kidneys were killed by a genetic illness called polycystic kidney disease. This disease is very brutal and can kill the kidneys quickly if not caught in time. Due to it being a genetic disease, I am at risk of this disease and having the same life my father had, relying on dialysis and waiting every day, hoping to get the phone call every recipient wants. I was also born with one kidney; this means that I must be extra careful with the choices I make when it comes to my health. I’ve had to get blood work from the time I was 8 months old to check my kidney functions. I have a nephrologist that I see every year to test for polycystic kidney disease and to check my kidney levels. Due to having of these risks with my health, I have become very acquainted with organ donation and whole-heartedly support it. From the time I was 15 years old, I joined the registry at the DMV waiting to take my permit test. I am very thankful that our bodies can allow us to help one another in desperate times. Organ donation will always and forever be a topic of discussion for me. It will always be the reason my father’s life was saved.