A few years ago my mother was found to have been stricken with kidney disease, compounded by the onset of kidney cancer. The cancer forced surgeons to remove one of my mother’s kidneys, which put further stress on her remaining kidney. It soon became apparent that my mom’s survival depended on having a kidney transplant. After numerous attempts to find a donor and being in a fight for her life, we were introduced to the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI).
The Coming Together of a Donor Chain
To help my mother, I decided to offer to donate my own kidney. Due to complications caused by the cancer, I was informed that I could not be a donor for my mother. After months of frustrating — and scary — waiting, my family and I learned about the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. Through this amazing organization, we discovered that I could donate my kidney as part of a living organ chain of donors.
A few short months after first meeting the staff, nurses and doctors involved with the NKFI, they had lined up a successful chain of three donors (including me) and three recipients, including my mother. I donated my kidney to a needy recipient, while my mother received a kidney from a very generous, anonymous donor. My mother’s life was saved!
Years later, my mother continues to live a healthy, active life as a result of this miraculous experience. I have become a committed supporter of the NKFI. Through my firm, I regularly donate to the charity, but perhaps more importantly, I often talk with people about kidney disease and organ donation, helping to raise awareness and dispel myths about donation and the donor’s concerns with the medical procedure, and future health issues.
There are plenty of ways that you can get involved with or support the NKFI. Below are just a few:
- Learn more about our kidneys and how they work
- Get screened for kidney disease
- Make a donation to the NKFI directly
Of course, I appreciate that going through prospect of kidney failure or a kidney transplant can be frightening. I would welcome the opportunity to introduce you to the warm, friendly and very professional people at the NKFI. Please contact me directly on 312-372-1655 or via firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of any assistance to you or a loved one.