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Am I crazy?
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Fish90210 posted:
I certainly don't think so but everyone I have talked to about this seems to think I must be.

I am interested in donating a kidney to someone....anyone. I have thought about this for a LONG time and it breaks my heart to think I have 2 kidneys and really only need one and yet there are people dying on a regular basis because they didn't get a desperately needed kidney in time. I know the risks, the expense involved the horrible pain to expect, the loss of time at work due to recovery, etc. and I am OK with all of that. So why do I get nothing but critisism from family and friends if I tell them of what I want to do? The BIGGEST objection I have heard from people is, "You can't just give away a kidney to a complete stranger! What if one of your own children or siblings needs it someday?".

So, is it really that ridiculous to want to help prevent someone else's death because I have a spare body part they need?
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John-SKPT responded:
It is a laudable thing that you want to do.

In the interest of wider understanding however, I think that the term "spare body part" is a little bit oversimplified in the public mind.

While it is true that most healthy people can live perfectly healthy lives with only one kidney (a number of people are born with only one), I think that it is overstating the matter to say that we have a "spare" kidney.

Most people do perfectly well with only one, but everyone should realize that there are some potential risks: you give up some margin of safety with only one kidney, for example a severe trauma to one side of the body can damage a kidney, and without the other side, they might have future problems. Pregnancy is somewhat riskier with one kidney, possible but riskier. And the donor needs to be a bit careful with avoiding a lot of over the counter medications, cholesterol, general cardiovascular health for the rest of his life. And the surgery is no small thing: recovery time for the donor is often longer than for the recipient.

So what you want to do it fantastic. But it is not a free ride, there are risks.

Contact a transplant center near you and see if you can talk to a transplant coordinator or a physician, and talk to your personal physician about it. Then you will have some more medical info, and you can make a good safe choice for yourself and your family.

Best of luck to you.
 
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MinervaStar responded:
Fish, I think its a great thing that you want to do this and that you have done your homework and know what to expect. Your gift means that much more because your not steping u for a cherished love one but just for an other living being. That being said, you must also remember that this is you choice in the end, with or with out the praise. Not everyone is self sacrificing and they can't understand why you would do this but it shouldn't matter what they think because in the end its your body and your choice. Best of Luck
 
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Fish90210 responded:
Thanks to both of you for your replies.

John, you're right. I know it's not just a "spare" body part and shouldn't have referenced it so flippantly. I guess I just get frustrated with people who are more concerned with me keeping both of my kidneys for future use IN CASE someone I know & love needs it. Yes, that's a possibility but I don't think in most cases that it ends up being a probability. I'm not one to live my life for something that MIGHT happen....I''m so much more concerned about the here and now and what can I do to make the most of my life and ensure that it was purposeful? This is one of those things.

I do know that donating a kidney is a huge undertaking and that it will change my life and lifestyle, to some degree, forever. I also understand the risks and the duration, intensity, and even potential complications that are involved. In the grand scheme of things though, I think it's still a small price to pay in exchange for the benefit of someone else not losing their life prematurely.
 
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John-SKPT responded:
As long as you go in to it with a full understanding that it is no free ride, you will be fine. There is actually a good bit of psychological evaluation that goes into selection of donor and recipient: it's not a one-hour interview, it's more like all the medical personnel that you come in contact with sit down and talk over their general impressions of why you want to donate, what your expectations are, how you might feel if the procedure was not successful, how it might impact your future, just a lot of stuff.

And while I don't know if you are female or male (I tend to assume female because the large majority of live donors are female), a kidney donation would have real consquences on any potential future pregnancies: it is not impossible but it is far more risky for the mother and especially for the fetus.

Good luck and go for it if you are really ready.
 
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Fish90210 responded:
Thanks, John. And, yes, I am female but no need to worry about pregnancy anymore. I'm 38 and my youngest is now 10 and I got my husband neutered LONG ago to make sure we were done!
 
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mother_hen responded:
commend you for wanting to donate a kidney. my sister-in-law donated one to my husband four years ago and now he needs another. they found out why the first one has failed and can rectify if and when he gets a new one. i wish more people would stand up and say you can have mine. there are so many people out there needing organ donation and yet to scared or selfish to donate. i believe that list would be so much shorter. my husband is on the list and as we have very well heard before it can take up to five years of waiting and well for my husband he will have to be on dialysis till then. my husband hates it because it makes him feel so bad. it is a gift that keeps a person alive so why wouldnt anyone want not to do so. even if they dont know the person its a selfless act. like i said i commend you.
 
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Voyageblu_55 responded:
Fish, what your heart is telling you is commendable, donating an organ to a total stranger is beyond word, when one is on dialysis for many yrs. it takes it toll. My youngest daugter donated a kidney to her sister 4 yrs. ago on Dec. 16th and all our lives have not been the same since. My only Healthy daughter suffered so much, with infection, ect. and her kidney never functioned in her sister. NO it did not reject, it was lack of blood flow which is VITAL to a kidney. LONG STORY, my girls have faced more then some should. Do your research on living organ donation. I am still to this day NOT against it, for my daugher still needs a kidney after all above,,, 5 yrs waiting. I have Never asked anyone to donate a kidney to her for I know first hand the risk and consquences. I have never actively looked for living donors for my daughter on the internet, which I know can be done. If I must let go of my daughter, than it is God's decission. She is tired and at 27 yrs. of age has faced more then most will ever know. your offer means more then you will ever know to many,,, make you choice and decission wisely,, so many would deeply accpect you offer of Live and Bless you for thinking of others but think of youself first.. I am including a link for you. CNN PREsENTs did a documentary which shows my girls, Please view it and reseach living organ donation. www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/presents/index.body.parts.html .... Look under the trailer that states "AUDIO SLIDE SHOW : The debate over living organ donation" You'll see my girls and what took place. If you are serious about donating a kidney after knowing all, I have never asked but Sarah is type 0 blood and if you are too,, after you know it's what you want to do. reply. Just be INFORMED ok. MELE KALIKIMAKA
 
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John-SKPT responded:
This is a side issue but it's almost never discussed in the US. The simplest solution to the organ shprtage is "presumed consent".

What swe have todays is "presumed refusal": you must vocally proclaim your desire to donate an organ after death. In most states, even if you said in writing that you wanted to be an organ donor, your family can revoke that right and deny you to donate after you are gone.

Presumed consent does not mean that they can take anything from anybody, rather it means that if you want to refuse to donate for religious reason or out of superstition or even simple selfishness, you can. But you need to say so. If you say nothing, thenit is presumed that for the greater good of the nation, you do not object to donation.

Smart idea right? Well, yeah but a loud vocal few scare the sh** out of Congressmen who think about proposing such a law.
 
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andypap2121 responded:
I think that its a great thought, and as a living donor myself, I can honestly say that a recepient would be extremely grateful. I am 20 years old, and I donated a kidney to my mother on Dec. 23rd, 2008. The surgery is no joke however, as you know expect pain, and a leave from work. The night of surgery I was up and walking, I was out of the hospital on the 25th (two days later). About a week after that, I was up and walking, making sure that I wasnt over doing things. What Im trying to say here is yes, there is pain, but the fact that you are giving life will give you the strength to get thru it. If you have any questions about recovery time or anything please feel free to pm me thanks. -Andy
 
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DJ64068 responded:
There will always be pro's and con's but in the end, it will be your choice with a transplant teams approval. Another idea, instead of a kidney have you thought about liver. I'm currently seeking someone willing to donate 60% of their liver to me. The doc said both livers would grow back to 100% within 6-8 weeks. This way you will have the feeling of saving a life and in the end you will still have a fully functioning liver. Just an idea.
 
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SunbeamPA responded:
I am an MULTI - organ transplant reciever --- i think what you are thinking of is one of the most unselfish gifts that one can give...... bless your heart!
 
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SMHmom77 responded:
I can only speak for myself and I know that I was lucky to have experienced the donation process the way that I did. 11-24-2008 I was able to donate my kidney to my mother. I am her adopted daughter and although I am not related to her biological my blood type is 0+ and I was able to donate. My mother had fought with type 1 diabetes my hole life and her kidneys had failed a year earlier she was on the list for a double transplant but the team felt that she needed a kidney first since here health was going down hill. Even with the dialysis she was weak, her skin color was ashin and lifeless, she spent most of the time sleeping. I was worried to death that I was going to loose my mother. The day of the surgery I was up and did some walking, I was not able to see my mother till the next day and will never forget walking into her hospital room, she was sitting up in the bed her color was back and she as laughing with my father. I had some pain but nothing that was not able to be controlled with medication, I went back to work 2 weeks after surgery and both my mother and I are doing well following surgery. Her kidney function is a few points better then mine . Nothing will ever compare to the feeling I had that day walking into her room and seeing what I was able to do for her, it is something I will never forget and I tear up still when I think about it. Everything we do in life has risks, but without taking those risks we will never see the reward. If I could give her my pancreas I would without a 2nd thought.
 
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NotYetAlive responded:
No way. If you saw my post just above yours, you note that I'd give away my already-transplanted liver if I could to someone else, since I am completely undeserving of it and so many others are. I'd give a kidney to someone else, too. I'm at the point in my life where I don't feel like it's made any kind of difference at all, so I'd do anything to be able to save someone else's life with an organ transplant...yes, even a stranger.
 
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lola1221 responded:
Hi

I don't think you are crazy at all!!! i know this a really late post and i doubt if your even get this, but i feel for you. I am going throught the same thing right now and it is so frusting hearing people say that to you to over and over again. I hate that they think we are crazy it drives me nuts. but anyways hows is it going have you got any father? Please reply back i would appreciate it.


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