Gratitude is one of those things that we sometimes forget about.


I wanted to share a little bit about me, well a little more than I usually do.

My sister and I are 13 years apart. We aren't very close. When I was 18, I moved away from home. She was 5. So, you can see there was no strong relationship there. 

Over the past year we have gotten closer. My sister was diagnosed with... well that depends on what Dr you ask... the Kidney Dr says - Nephrophthisis and the Liver Dr says - Congenital Hepatic Fibrosis. When my sister was born she had really bad eye sight. When we would watch a movie and turn off all of the lights and just have the tv playing, she would crawl into walls. She has never been able to see in the dark. She was told that she would probably be blind by the time she was 21. Well, she just turned 20. {Yes, if you are doing your math, that makes me 33.} She now has tunnel vision. In relation to her eye sight, this disease causes problems with her organs. When she was 15 she had a surgery to remove her spleen. At the beginning of the year, we found out that her kidneys were only functioning at 10%. And after doing some more testing, we found out that her liver had some scarring on them. Well, that can give you a whole new perspective. She has done tests, more tests and then a few more tests. She's gone through all of the paperwork and just this past week was put on the list for a kidney transplant.


Here is what the Living Kidney Donor Network has to say about that list:

"There are over 80,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list – and many people wait more than 5 years for a kidney from a deceased donor. The waiting list has doubled in size over the past 10 years - and it continues to grow. Millions of dollars are spent to encourage people to register to be an organ donor in the event of their untimely death. However, only 1% of the deaths result in organs that could be used. Even if all of these organs were able to be recovered, it would not alleviate the shortage. A staggering 4,500 people die every year waiting for a kidney transplant. Many of these individuals were good candidates for a transplant when they were first put on the waiting list.
Nationally, the number of living kidney transplants has decreased in each of the past 4 years. The programs currently in place have not been effective at increasing the number of living kidney donations. Information about living kidney donation is available from many sources; transplant hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations and numerous web sites. However, this information is either not reaching the people who need it the most, or does not provide adequate help.  Equally important, there isn’t a program available that helps someone communicate their need for a living kidney donation to family members and friends. Fear of speaking about their need is one of the main reasons and hurdles given for not pursuing living donation."

Well, that can be a downer and for many it is. This post is titled, Gratitude. And that is what I am, grateful. My sister has a donor, in fact she has two living donors. Our family was tested and two of our aunts have been approved. My sister will have her surgery shortly! We are truly blessed. 


But there are many who still need a transplant. If you have questions on becoming a living donor, please look to the Living Kidney Donor Network

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