30 Oct Do You Have a Kidney Champion?
A kidney champion speaks on behalf of a recipient’s need for a living kidney donation. A kidney champion should know the recipient well, be able to explain his/her story, and provide information regarding how to become a living kidney donor.
Jasmine Hall is acting as the kidney champion for Markeya Douglas. Markeya describes Jasmine as a go-getter and someone who is really good and “there for me.”
When asked why Jasmine wanted to be Markeya’s kidney champion, she said, “I chose to be her kidney champion because she’s my husband’s cousin. And, my grandmother was on dialysis. She received a kidney transplant and I saw how it improved her quality of life. I want that for Markeya.”
Jasmine delivered a powerful message on February 25th, 2018, at the First Baptist Church South Inglewood. You can view her message on YouTube.
If you need a kidney champion, ask your family and friends for help. Share your story. Let them know how difficult it is to ask for a kidney. Be willing to share your story on Facebook and other social media channels. Be willing to talk about it at church and at work. Contact your REACH Kidney Care coordinator and see if she is able to host a living kidney donation table at your church or other community spot.
Basic information a kidney champion should share:
- According to UNOS, as of March 21, 2018, there are 95,249 candidates on the kidney transplant waiting list.
- The average wait for a kidney is 5 years.
- A living donor’s kidney is shown to last longer than a deceased donor kidney, on average 18 years for a living donor kidney compared to 13 years for a deceased donor.
- In general, to be a living donor an individual must be physically fit, in good health, free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and heart disease.
- Individuals considered for living donation are usually between 18-60 years of age. (Living donors older than 65 years of age have successfully donated.)
- Routine tests are always performed to determine not only the potential donor’s level of physical and mental health, but also their compatibility with the patient awaiting a transplant.
- If someone is interested in testing to be a match, share the blood type of the recipient and the transplant hospital phone number where a potential donor can be tested.