"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." ~Randy Pausch

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dialysis Day 54

Transplant Meeting

I knew there would be alot of information and there really was. Alot of it was stuff I had read about and it was just a refresher. It was nice to hear it rather than read it. But some of it was new and pretty cool to hear about.

Like the 6 markers that are in everyone's body. The first blood test is to check for these markers. Everyone gets 3 makers from their mom and 3 from their dad. Matching 3 with someone is good and that's what they look for first. Then they will take my blood and the potential donor's blood and put them together in a dish to see if my t-cells start attacking the other person's t-cells. If they attack that's bad.

They will do a financial and psychosocial evaluation to make sure that being a donor will work with their lifestyle. It really does sound like they will not let someone go through the donor process unless they are 100% sure that it will be okay. And if you aren't a match with me you still have the option to donate. There is something called an Altruistic Donor which means you donate to someone at Christ Hospital that you don't know. Then there is something called a Paired Donor. Let's say that you don't match me, but you match "George." "George" has a friend who doesn't match him but matches me. You would give your kidney to "George" and his donor gives to me.

What I was also excited to hear is that the potential donor works with a team of doctors and nurses and that team has no contact with me at all! I have my own team and there is a liaison between the two teams. And remember, if you get tested and match but decide not to donate all I know is that you aren't a candidate. No hurt feelings.

So, we aren't really supposed to make a list like I thought. Instead, you can just fill out this paperwork if you want to be tested and send it in. They will set you up to come in for some blood work. They will take 7 tubes of blood (which isn't really that bad) and they use a very thin needle. Then they will let you know if you are eligible to go forward. If not, then you're done!

If you have already told me that you're interested then I will be sending you the papers. I might even send them to you if you haven't volunteered so you can send the papers out to people you know. No pressure...and you don't have to tell me if you filled them out or sent it on to someone else.

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