I’m Jaemie, a thirty-something living in southwestern Pennsylvania. Professionally, I’m a storyteller, a pixel pusher, and a creative problem solver. Personally, I am a Celiac (gluten free), a runner, a healthy living advocate, a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, and a tuxedo cat mama, and usually caffeinated.
Thank you. — Jaemie
This post is not about me.
This post is about the over 120,000 people in the United States that are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. This post is about the over 100,000 people on that list that are awaiting a kidney transplant.
I was first diagnosed with kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome in November. Despite excellent medical care, new medications, and lifestyle changes, my kidney function has continued to decline. In April, around my thirty-fifth birthday, I learned that I may need a kidney transplant. My kidney function has rapidly declined even further, and I am nearing renal failure. My “may need” has quickly turned into an inevitability. This decline in kidney function is affecting other organs and systems as well.
I am doing my best to maintain this level of health, but, without dialysis or an eventual transplant, it may be a losing battle. I want to continue to be able to work and live my life doing the things that I enjoy. I want to be well enough to get back to running, and I want to be around to see my nieces grow up.
When I started to share the news about my declining health, the amount of support and offers from friends and family to get tested to see if they are able to donate a kidney to me were overwhelming. No second thoughts, people immediately asked how they could help and what they needed to do to find out if they are a match.
My family members are willing to get tested. My friends mentioned that they’d be willing to donate if needed. Their generosity made me think about how many people are out there that may not have this kind of support network in place and about how many people that are out there that are willing to donate but aren’t sure how to get started.
While many of you may be designated as an organ donor on your driver’s license, you may not be aware that there are networks available where you can sign up to be matched with someone who is in need of a transplant right now that could use your help. Not everyone may be as lucky as I am, with friends and family offering to make this generous donation of life.
I am trying to raise awareness for living organ and tissue donation. While donation many not be something you want to participate in, maybe someone you know has never considered it and would be interested in doing so. All I am asking is that you please like and share this post if you can. While this may not help me or save my life, it very well may help or save someone else that you or I have never met that could benefit from the kindness of a stranger.
*No, it’s not a typo.