June 19th, 2018 I donated a kidney to my boyfriend.
I made the decision because I wanted my boyfriend to have the possibility of a better life. Living on dialysis is hard, sometimes he would wake up so drained and nauseous. It was hard to see him like this because I knew how badly he felt about the situation.
Someone who was extremely helpful with the process was Sophie at UCSF. She helped orchestrate all my exams and gave me all info on donation. I had already had my mind made up about wanting to donate I just needed to know if I was match.
Due to the fact that I am a college student that is currently in the process of transferring schools so I can finish my bachelors I completed the surgery in the summer. Therefore I quit my job before school ended and decided that looking for another job after surgery was the best idea due to the fact the school I’m transferring to is farther from home. I’m currently 3 weeks into recovery and I am feeling a little over whelmed with my financial situation but my family has helped the most they can and I truly appreciate that. Daily life trying to recover can be boring! I’m a college student, I work, I’m on the go 14+ hours on a normal school day. So staying put at home can be challenging because I enjoy the feeling of being busy as odd as that may seem!
When I started my exams it did not cross my mind that I would be a direct match. Growing up I had known of a man in my town that had spent years looking for a donor and had never found one. Due to that I never thought that I could be a direct match to boy I had met my sophomore year of high school! After a few tests they said I was quite healthy but they wanted me to lose 10 pounds due to the fact that my family has a history of diabetes. It took me about 7 months and I resumed testing. Summer of 2017 was when I found out I was a direct match. Sophie called me and said “your numbers are perfect, you guys are a match made in heaven!” I cried to say the least!!
Everyone had an opinion when I started testing. Some were good some were bad. Many told me not to do it because my bf was only that, my bf. Many believed that I needed to be married so that I could help. I of course did not feel that way. Wether my bf and I decided to break up or not in the future that did not affect my decision about donating. The only opinion I cared for were my parents. They were very scared but also supportive which I appreciated. My support system throughout the journey was great. Especially after surgery, I returned to my parents home so they could care for me.
If anyone was interested in the possibility of being a living donor, I would let them know that they are giving one of the greatest gifts that they’ll ever be able to give someone and that everything they do does not go unnoticed!
Being a kidney donor has really put my life into perspective. Being so young and working on my major and working many hours doesn’t really give you a lot of time to stop and smell the flowers. Therefore the surgery made me realize that sometimes I need to stop and just breathe because things can change in a blink of an eye especially ones heath. Seeing my bf’s face after surgery was amazing and it is something I will never be able to forget.
Any other details about your Kidney Donation Story: Donating my kidney has been a crazy amazing roller coaster journey. Never in a million years would I have thought that I was going to donate my kidney to the boy that I met in 2011! It is definitely crazy to think that my “high school sweetheart” has my kidney inside him! Most people give each other jewelry to remember each other, I decided to give my kidney away! (LOL) My boyfriend and I have been together for over 4 years now and we are excited for this next chapter in our life. Once we recover and feel 100% we are looking forward to getting a puppy!
Location: Benicia, CA