Five years ago, one of my good friends, at 31 years old, died of kidney failure. And again, there was nothing I could do about it. So, with this in mind, there is plenty I can do about helping educate others on kidney donation.
I understand the uncertainty donate a kidney of donating to an unknown person. I understand you might be scared. I also understand if you have a family and want to provide for them. If nothing else, make sure you are a donor on your driver’s license.
Also, think of this… what makes you and I so special that we don’t have to worry about our kidneys failing? I believe things are meant to happen. When my sister asked me, “What happens if your nephew needs a kidney, and you gave your away?”
I replied to her, “He has plenty of people that can get tested to donate. Many people don’t have anyone else.”
She then said, “Well, that doesn’t mean they will match. What if you need it one day for yourself or your kids?”
I replied to her, “It doesn’t mean I will either. And I believe if I gave mine up, and I need another one some day, then someone will be out there somewhere giving me one.”
There are 4,500 people who will die this year from not receiving a kidney. You can help one… it is just one, but it is one. Who know what that one person will and can do one day, all because you gave up something, a kidney, that you didn’t need anyways. Imagine how your life will change by helping that one person. All it takes is helping one person, because then that one person helps another, and that person helps another. So, you could actually help millions by donating your kidney to one person. Saving another life, what could ever be better than that!
In this article I will go through some of the basic information needed to save a life by donating a kidney while you are still alive, and then look at a number of reasons why it is so difficult to get this sort of information out to the general public.
The waiting list for kidney transplants in America is over 100,000 (and growing at a rate of about 10,000 a year). Seventeen people a day die while waiting for a kidney transplant. (Note: Statistics in countries like Australia and England, where non-directed organ donations are still rare, are even worse.) And yet all it takes to save one of these lives is for someone to volunteer to donate a kidney.