Curtis is currently in stage 5 kidney failure with a kidney function level of 12 percent.
Curtis was diagnosed with the disease IgA nephropathy when he was 13 years old and has had regular check-ups with his nephrologist (kidney doctor) once or twice a year since then.
Until recently, Curtis and his family have not been overly concerned about his eventual need for a new kidney because there was a solution locked-in. Loren, Curtis’ brother, has been absolutely unwavering in his commitment to donate a kidney since Curtis was diagnosed with this disease 30 years ago.
… in Loren’s final round of testing in late July, there was a surprise hiccup in his results. Due to this potential health issue, he isn’t being allowed to proceed as a donor.
Curtis’ wife Kristie also went through comprehensive testing and was ruled out in early October due to kidney stones.
Curtis’ first cousin was precluded in late October for a previously unknown medical concern.
Additionally, another handful of close friends and loved ones have been disqualified at various stages of the testing process for various reasons.
The process at UCLA is very thorough and an extended pool of candidates is necessary to find a match.
*credit: National Kidney Foundation
My name is Shannon and on September 26, 2017, I participated in a kidney chain. I donated on behalf of a friend, but in the process gained new friends for life. I donated simply because a friend was very sick, and I was fortunate enough to be healthy enough to give him a new lease on life. The recovery was quick, and soon I was back to doing all the things I did before surgery. Several months after my surgery, I was running a half marathon to prove to myself that saving a life didn’t mean sacrificing my own. Just over 13 months post surgery, I ran another half marathon, hand in hand with my recipient’s wife. Donating a kidney doesn’t have to change your life, but it probably will. For the better.
Hello, I am your kidney donor. I received your letter and am very happy to learn all is well for you and your family. My wife, children, parents and siblings are so very important to me and I very much wanted my kidney to go to a person with a loving family and obviously that wish was granted. I want to share several of my thoughts with you: why I started thinking about kidney donation, my decision making process, and some of the reasons for my donation.
In December, 2010 I watched a television program which detailed the horrific effects of renal disease and dialysis and then proceeded to describe the kidney donation process. Until seeing that program I was sadly ignorant regarding the situation and struggles inherent to those suffering kidney failure. I did not know the important basics regarding kidney function, failure, treatment, resolution options, and the physical, mental and emotional toll on patients and their families. This started my research into the disease and whether I could do something/anything to help. I researched through the internet, with special attention to credible National Kidney and Organ Donation organizations, the Mayo Clinic, plus several other renowned Health Providers recognized as leaders in kidney function and research. As my knowledge increased my desire to help increased in depth and intensity. I had many lengthy discussions with my wife, 5 children, siblings, spiritual counselors and several respected medical/kidney specialists. I searched and sought out non-directed donors, people who had given a kidney to an unknown recipient, and talked with them about their experience, feelings and reflections. I also talked with people with renal issues including a person who had successfully received a non-directed donated kidney. At this point I was leaning toward but not yet totally committed to donating a kidney.
Based on this knowledge and thought evolution my next step was to think about the philosophical and practical reasons and effects of kidney donation. As time passed my list of “whys” grew in quality and quantity whilst the “why not’s” became less significant, the reasons to donate far outweighed the few potential risks. I will offer you a small sample of my rationale:
- It is an “accident of good fortune”, not due to any effort or activity on my part, that I have been blessed with two good kidneys. Likewise, many with renal issues suffer not due to any fault of their own. My good fortune should be shared.
- Humans are social beings. As such we have social responsibilities to other humans. A prime responsibility is to assist in the healthy survival of our brothers and sisters.
- The test of words and ideas is if they are backed by actions. I have tried to live by several basic values one of which is service to others. Donation of a kidney is an action I felt demonstrated this core value.
- I find it impossible to imagine the physical, mental and emotional anguish attendant to renal disease and dialysis. The opportunity to relieve a fellow human being of such a horrible burden is a true gift for me to have the ability to deliver.
- I find a great sense of personal satisfaction in bringing joy to my loved ones. I know that my recipient will bring joy to his loved ones and I will intuitively feel a small part of the satisfaction that occurs.
- I learned that a kidney transplanted from a living donor will on average function 4 times longer than a kidney transplanted from a deceased donor.
- Every day there are innumerable incidents of people performing actions, many at great risk to their own well-being, benefiting unknown others. I am not a military person protecting freedom, nor a fireman protecting life and property, nor one of innumerable other individuals dedicating their lives to serve/help others so I wanted to do what I could by donating my kidney.
- Finally, and perhaps most important, I searched for the ousia of the human spirit, the essence of who we are, the values we, as human beings, have in common, that which sets us apart from all else, and I believe it is love. The most dire existence I can imagine is one without love and, conversely, the more love the better the existence. Recalling the last lyric of the last Beatles album: “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” I feel the basic foundation of love is selflessness and sharing with others.
As written above I had many discussions with people I love, respect and trust; as we went through the thinking and further developed these concepts the idea of kidney donation seriously became part of my “Bucket List” (after my surgery I thanked the surgeon for helping me tick this off my list!). Donation just made total sense to me so I made the “Go” decision. I went to the Mayo Clinic in January, 2012, 13 months after watching that thought-initiating television show, for 3+ days of intense physical and psychological testing and about a week later the Transplant Committee voted to allow me to donate.
My subsequent discussions with the Mayo Transplant team lead to a single criteria for the transplant: find the recipient whom best matches my kidney and maximizes the chances of a successful donation. I was informed in May, 2012 an excellent match recipient was found and we proceeded to schedule surgery for June 19 pending follow-up kidney function testing. After the surgery, leaving the recovery area and re-locating to my hospital room at Mayo the Transplant team visited to give me the best possible news: the transplant was successful, the transplanted kidney was fully functional and the recipient was feeling great and in good spirits! It was the report I so much wanted to hear.
As I read your kind letter to me it was very meaningful that you have a loving support group of family and friends and are “living life to its’ fullest every single day”. Bringing joy and happiness to others, especially those in need, is a core value it seems we mutually share.
This has turned out to be a bit lengthy, as I write it is hard to stop. I trust and pray you are well and will be healthy for many, many years to come.
Health and Love,
There’s nothing better than saving someone’s life. God gave us two kidneys, but you can live easily with one. So, SHARE YOUR SPARE, like I did, and become a donor hero. You will be changed, empowered, with a heart full of gratitude. Recovery was quick and I’m thankful I was approved to be a live kidney donor. One year later people ask me……..would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I saved someone’s life. If you have questions about becoming a live kidney donor, please reach out! I can be reached at 949-497-0005 or email me at email@example.com. Here’s a photo from our 1-year checkup at Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills at the transplant center. This was taken on Friday. Saturday, November 17th was his 1-year NEW birthday! I’m 5’ 3” and Bruce is 6’ 5”. Size doesn’t matter……..when it comes to kidneys!
~Heidi Miller & Bruce Cook
If anyone has thought of getting tested and would like to chat with someone who’s gone through the process, feel free to message me, or even write me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I donated a kidney to a non relative in 2004, It was so hard to watch someone so full of life, go through dialysis. The loss of time, energy, and hope for getting their normal life back was hard to watch. It’s been over 14 yrs, and both the donor and I are both doing well. It was literally a few days out of my life, to give someone back theirs. The best feeling ever.
~Renee Howard Escobedo
I am proud to be a living kidney donor. In 2006, I donated my left kidney to my father, who was 56 years old at the time, I was 25 years old. He needed a donor and fortunately, I was a match! My surgery was 4 hours and I had a relatively speedy recovery. In a matter of a couple months, life went back to normal for me and my dad’s quality of life improved tremendously. Three months after my surgery, I started training for my first half marathon. 10 years later, I had a very healthy pregnancy and healthy baby boy. Today, I’m healthy and doing great. My dad is also doing well. It’s really special to give the gift of life 🙂 and everyone should do it!
My name is Sakura and I donated my kidney to my brother (26) in 2008. After being on a very long transplant waiting list and his condition rapidly declining, I made the choice to donate. Simply because it meant that I could save his life. The test showed that I was a great match and I was on my way to be examined further. The transplant coordinator pretty much handled everything, from setting up appointments to support. The whole 9 yards! I felt very comfortable and confident the entire time. A little nervous the night before, but all was well in the end. I forget that I even have 1 kidney now. 10 years later I still feel great and I encourage those who are healthy to consider becoming a kidney donor. I’d do it again if I could!
~Sakura, mother of 2, Long Beach, CA
WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT MAKE FOR CURTIS?
Curtis needs kidneys that CAN … help him continue the life he has with his wife, two young children, and being a contributing force in an incredible community comprised of business and personal relationships. When compared to dialysis, kidney transplant offers people like Curtis the opportunity for a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life. The generous gift of a kidney will allow Curtis to enjoy basic aspects of life that many of us take for granted:
Freedom from Dialysis
Not having to be connected to a machine, typically three days a week, to live.
Being able to continue running his law practice and be productive in all aspects of life.
Ability to enjoy what many of us take for granted without dialysis taking control.
A return to a normal, healthy lifestyle.
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE
We are looking for a hero who is willing to “share their spare” by donating their extra kidney to give the gift of life to our family. Some of the benefits to being a living donor include:
Giving a life back to someone special makes it possible for them to pay it forward and live a productive life!
The recipient will cover all of your expenses including lost wages, travel expenses, child care, medical expenses, etc.
Peace of mind that living kidney donors thrive with one kidney, just as they did with two kidneys.
Medical coverage for kidney-related health needs – for life.
Warranty for Life – all hero kidney donors go to the very top of the list if they ever were to need a kidney themselves.