My name is Christopher Marcotte. I am 52-years old: I live in Seekonk, Massachusetts with my wife Rita and my three beautiful children, Soleil, Zachary and Samuel. I am searching for a kidney to live.
For several years, I have been able to manage my symptoms and live my life as my kidney disease progressed. Recently, my diagnosis was upgraded to end stage renal failure. My only treatment options now are lifelong dialysis treatments, or a kidney transplant.
Dialysis treatments are at least three times a week and last four hours at a time. They help my kidneys do their job and keep me alive. Many have lived well on dialysis, however, the average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years. A transplant would offer me more freedom and the ability to live a longer, healthier, more normal life. A transplant would also give me more time to possibly walk my daughter down the aisle or see the joy in my sons' eyes as they become fathers themselves in the future.
As you can imagine, finding a kidney is not easy. Just ask the 100,000+ people on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney like me. Time is NOT on our side. Some wait for years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is five years or more for a kidney from a deceased donor.
However, there is another option: receiving a kidney from a living donor. Asking a family member, a friend or even a perfect stranger to consider donating a kidney to me is difficult, but it greatly improves my chances of getting a transplant. A living kidney donation typically lasts longer and has better function.
You might not know a lot about living donation - I know I didn't before kidney disease affected my life. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them. Here's some basic information about kidney donation:
You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance.
You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.
You can also learn more about living donation on the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) website: www.kidney.org/livingdonation.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If donating a kidney to me is something you would like to consider, I would be happy to tell you more about my story and explore the process of determining if you are a match for me. To start, I am looking for type A or O blood. My sister Nancy is coordinating things for now. She can ask you a few questions to get you started. If you meet the criteria, she will put you in touch with my living donor coordinator at Rhode Island Hospital. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to help or visit my Facebook page Kidney for Christopher 2018.
However, I know living donation may not be right for everyone — but you can still help! Consider being an organ donor after death and also, help me by sharing my story with everyone you know. At the very least, I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation, and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the waitlist. It means everything to me to try and live the longest, healthiest life I can with my wife and amazing children.
Thank you & God Bless!
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