Last Friday I was informed that my kidney is being relocated to Nebraska! They found a match! As of right now I know it is a male and he lives in Nebraska. That's all I know about the recipient. I was so incredibly excited when I found out. I am still blown away at the entire process and how they can do some tests on a person in Texas and bleep, blop, bloop, enter some info into a computer and BAM! matching kidney. So, so cool.
I am in a paired kidney donation program which I have put off writing about just because it is kind of hard to explain but I will attempt to do so because it is the best part. If my explanation doesn't make sense you can do your own research on the internet. Again, I recommend the website "Google"
Here we go...
Let's say Bob needs a new kidney and his wife Bobbette wants to donate hers. Well, turns out Bobbette isn't a good match for Bob but she says, "as long as Bob gets a kidney, I will donate MY kidney to someone else."
Now we have Mark. Mark needs a kidney and his sister Martha wants to donate hers but it turns out Martha isn't a good match for Mark but says, "as long as Mark gets a kidney, I will donate MY kidney to someone else."
So, I, Karen could give my kidney to Bob; Bobbette could give her kidney to Mark; Martha could then give her kidney to someone else who needs one and so on and so on. (Assuming all of those pairs are matches for one another) It allows people who have a willing friend or family member that are unable to donate to their own person to be paired with someone else. These paired kidney chains could involve only a couple of links or a whole bunch of links (I read about one chain that was 60 people long! Incredible.)
Being an altruistic donor means I get to be the first link in the chain setting off a literal chain reaction! My kidney will go to Nebraska where they will transplant it into the recipient. Then his friend or family member will have surgery to remove their kidney and send it to the next link in the chain and so on. Yay science! Yay coordination! Yay computers!
This morning I went to the hospital to have my cross matching blood work done. They'll send my blood to Omaha and assuming all of the other links in the chain have favorable cross matching results we'll start planning for surgery.