My Journey of Becoming a Living Kidney Donor: Part 3

One of the reasons for doing this is to bring awareness and information about becoming a living kidney donor. In Parts 1 and 2, I talked about the other reasons and the process so far. In Part 2, I let you know that I completed 24 hours of urine collection and had blood drawn. The next step was to wait and see if my urine and blood would make the grade.

A few days later, I received an email stating that my blood and urine did make the grade. The email stated that I could now pick a transplant center.  I chose the University of North Carolina as it was the closest to my house and has transplant care not just for kidneys, but also Bone Marrow, Heart, Lung, and Liver transplants. Their website provides a good introduction to the process. The site describes their approach and describes their team. Each organ has their own page where you can explore and learn more.

I received a phone call from the Living Donor Specialist, Teresa Roberts, and she went into detail on what would be happening.  It is called a donor evaluation. But before I could start, I had to be approved by UNC’s insurance.  If you are living kidney donor, there is no cost to you for the tests, physicals, surgery, hospital stay, and follow-ups. Teresa said once this was approved, she would set up the 2-all day evaluation process. Then Teresa went into more detail about what I would be facing during the evaluation. A few days later my insurance was approved.

The number 1 goal of the evaluation is to see if you are healthy. UNC’s number 1 concern is you the donor (more on this in Part 4).  It is extensive and starts with early morning registration and then labs, Renal Ultrasound, CT with Contrast, Chest X-Ray, meetings and a physical with the Transplant Surgeon, EKG, meeting with the Transplant Coordinator (email intro started once UNC was selected), Stress Test, and meeting and physical with the Transplant Nephrologist. This ended day 1. Day 2 will start off with registration, meetings with my Social Worker and Psychologist, Nuclear Medicine Scan (3 during the day), Financial Coordinator and I will end the day with an Echocardiogram.

I completed day 1 on April 11th and day 2 is on the 16th.   Stay tuned.     

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