- Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Make Life Happen! Welcome to all of you who visit. If you are looking into becoming a Living Donor and would like a detailed idea of my journey..scroll down and begin with the older posts first. I welcome any questions or topics that you would like to know more about.
Monday, September 23, 2013
The Importance of Support
Three years and it is still a joy to speak with those who are considering becoming a living donor. New questions, issues and challenges for people. As I've said many times before, I would do it all again. But being a Kidney Ninja, a nickname I've been given (and not deserved) I am lucky I don't hurt myself doing yardwork, has brought me to the realization of how much I take for granted my own thinking process of being a non-designated donor.
One of the people whom I've been speaking with has a sibling that needs a kidney. She is in the testing process and is confident that being a living donor is the right decision for her. The challenge for her has been that her immediate family have not exactly been supportive of the idea.
I can respect that...as all of us have people who love and need us and are extremely anxious about the WHAT IF something happens. As I have suggested to many people make sure you sit down and talk with your family and friends. They may not understand your decision but it helps if you communicate your desire and need for their support. Edcuate them on the process as much as you educate yourself. Only you can determine if this is something you want to do. Is it the right time in your phase of life? Are you doing this under pressure and feel obligated? Have a sincere sit down with yourself and allow your family to express their feelings as well. It all comes down to you and what you feel comfortable in doing.
Another individual has a Father who's loss of kidney function is very close to needing dialysis. They have a spouse and young children. Sometimes you can hear things in a persons voice that they do not hear themselves. Since I am not a psychologist nor in the medical arena I try not to answer these questions, but ask questions to them that prompt them to think about their donating and why.
Pressure should NOT be the reason. I feel fortunate that as a non-designated donor I did not have to deal with these types of emotional issues. I had made my decision, on my own, researched, reached out to people who are well respected in the Kidney Community. I stress to everyone the importance of using due diligence in making their decision.
It saddens me to know that number of living kidney donors has declined since I firmly believe that living donors are the only way to reduce the waiting list for those needing a kidney. But I also believe the importance of someone who is considering donating to be 100% honest with themselves on their comfort level of doing so. Since we lack a great deal of data on those who are living donors and following them through their phases of life, we have to make the most intelligent decision that we can for ourselves.
I am very thankful that I was surrounded by friends and family, my two grown Sons to be there for me and support my decision. Now in saying that understand that I myself had people that asked me that infamous question...Why are you doing this when you don't have to. My answer was because I can...I can make a difference and I want to make a difference. Only you can answer that question.
There are no guarantees in life...in donating a kidney...in what will happen in your future. Sometimes there is just a leap of faith that comes from your gut that this is right for you.