Posts Tagged ‘#kidney transplant’

Way to go JHS

The Senior class at Jacksonville High School put together a fundraiser where the high school was able to raise $526.87 last week through Caps for a Cause”. They raised enough money to sponsor a student this summer at Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges provides a summer camp for children who have received an organ transplant. You can find out more about Camp Bridges at http://www.campbridges.org/ . Jennifer and I are very proud of Anna for stepping up to the plate and leading her classmen as they selfishly served others.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things

Not only did the students help raise money to send a student to camp,  several students plan to go volunteer during one of the camps. So many times we don’t look at the big picture, we seem to be focused on the details of the current event. I guess what I’m saying is, for some the fundraiser has been more than just paying a dollar to wear their cap to school or even to raise money to sponsor a student for camp. For  some, this small event may have changed their life. The impact on those who go volunteer at camp this summer is not known at this time. The potential influence very well could be the deciding factor that helps them choose their career. Who knows, maybe we will read one day where an organ was donated and  find out it all started one day back in high school by paying a dollar to wear  a cap to school. Or maybe someone will be a doctor, nurse, social worker, transplant coordinator. Only time will tell, but from what I’m hearing Caps for a Cause was only the beginning for some.

Pressing on ,



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Chronic Kidney Disease 

April 29, 2012

            Chronic kidney failure (also called chronic renal failure) is a serious, long-term condition of the kidney’s that causes a progressive loss of kidney function and, ultimately, end-stage kidney failure (Komaroff). Some of the symptoms for CKD are frequently passing urine, frequently thirsty, and high blood pressure (Chronic Kidney Failure). When my mom had CKD her symptoms were: being dehydrated, having headaches, and being nauseous. She was diagnosed with CKD when she was 16 years old. The diseases that most often cause Chronic kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure partially ,because kidneys are not well-controlled by treatment (Komaroff). In this disorder which occurs over a period of years, the kidneys gradually lose urine ability to filter body wastes from the blood and dispose of them in the urine (Komaroff). As a result, there is a buildup of toxins and fluid in the blood, which produces few symptoms at first (Komaroff). Indeed, you may not have symptoms until most of the kidneys function is lost (Komaroff).

Chronic Kidney Disease is treatable, but just because it is treatable does not mean it is curable. The two ways of treating CKD is having a healthy diet and doing to dialysis. “Dialysis is used while a patient is awaiting transplant and during episodes of oliguria or of threatened rejection, while, on the other hand, patients who find dialysis a psychological burden can be offered a transplant” (Chronic Kidney Failure). My mom has used both kinds during the three times that she has had dialysis over the years. “There are two main techniques of dialysis in current use. In peritoneal dialysis, the patient’s own abdominal cavity is used as the container of fluid; the fluid is run in, allowed to reach equilibrium, and removed, taking with it, urea and other wastes” (Chronic Kidney Failure).  “The process has proved suitable for the short-term treatment of acute renal failure, especially in infants, and can be used in the treatment of individuals with chronic irreversible renal failure” (Chronic Kidney Failure). The second type of dialysis is hemodialysis. “Hemodialysis (filtration of the blood through semipermeable membranes) has also been used in the treatment of acute renal failure, since the method-the artificial kidney- was devised, in the 1940’s; but, for chronic use, the problem was one of repeated access to the atrial blood stream period” (Chronic Kidney Failure). “This was largely solved by the introduction of a permanent shunt between an artery and a vein (an arteriovenous fistula), by which a suitable vein, usually in the arm, is connected directly to an adjacent artery” (Chronic Kidney Failure). A healthy diet consists of keeping your weight under control and normal blood pressure.

“The Living Kidney Donation program at UAB enables a healthy individual to donate a kidney to someone in need of a transplant – the surgical placement of a healthy human kidney into the body of a patient with kidney failure” (Transplant, Kidney). To cure CKD you have to have a kidney transplant. There are two different types of kidney transplants living donor (the three kind of transplants my mom had) and cadaver transplant (from a deceased person).  A living donor may be a relative, spouse, or even a close friend of the recipient.my mom’s three kidney transplants were from our pastor, a lady in our church, and her mom. One cool fact is that when you get a new kidney, if the old one isn’t in the way, the surgeon just puts the new one on top. So in all, my mom has 5 kidneys. “To be considered as a living-kidney donor, you need to be in good health and without any history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or other major illness” (Transplant, Kidney).

“Your immune system is your body’s defense against foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses. Unfortunately, your immune system cannot tell the difference between a harmful invader and your transplanted kidney and will try to reject it” (Anti- Rejection Medications). My mom takes many medicines to keep her healthy so her body doesn’t reject the new kidney. Rejection is dangerous because it can permanently damage your new organ and can sometimes lead to re-transplant. “That is why your transplant team has intended for you to take anti-rejection medications as part of your long-term therapy” (Anti- Rejection Medications).


Works Cited

“Anti- Rejection Medications.” Transpantexperience.com. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., n.dn Web.

29 Apr 2012

“Chronic Kidney Disease.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 2007. Print.

Komaroff, Anthony. Harvard Medical School Family Heath Guide. New York: Simon and

Schuster, 1999. Print.                                                                            .

Schoenfeld, Alex. “Potassium Levels in Heart Failure Patients with Kidney Disease.”: Private

MD News: (2010): n.pag. Web.29 Apr 2012.

“Transplant, Kidney .” Uabmedicine.org. University of Alabama at Birmingham n.d. Web.                         29.Apr.2012.


Chronic Kidney Disease

  1. Definition of Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Frequently passing urine
    2. Frequently thirsty
    3. High blood pressure
    4. Diabetes
  3. Treating Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Going to dialysis
    2. Having a diet
  4. Curing Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Getting a transplant
    2. Taking your medicine
  5. Medicines after Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Anti- rejection medicine
    2. High blood pressure
  6. Living with Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Healthy diet
    2. Regular blood pressure

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Organ Donation

Today was the day! This morning my senior class at Jacksonville High School was privileged to have Beverly Berry from the Alabama Organ Center come to our school and share information about organ donation. Beverly was able to share how organ transplantation takes place. Beverly was very helpful by answering questions from the students and addressing the myths of being an organ donor.  AOC also works closely with Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges is a camp for children and teens who have had an organ transplant. Camp participants  are sponsored by private donations, communities, and various fundraisers. Beverly gave great insight and motivation to our class.

Everybody wear your caps

My senior class at Jacksonville High School began their senior class project today. We are doing a fundraiser called “Caps for a Cause”.  This entire week our high school is wearing hats for a dollar a day. All of our money is going to sponsor a child for Camp this summer. Mom or dad will give an update later with the total dollar amount we raised.

Last impressions

Most senior classes just donate a plaque or something to the school. We wanted to reach out and make an impact in someone’s life. So we chose Camp Bridges. Our mission is to influence the younger classmen to make selfless decisions and help others. Hopefully we set an example to our school and show that you can make a difference.



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90 days without dialysis

On Monday April 23rd it will have been three months since Jennifer’s transplant. Today we were at UAB for her 90 day check up. She got an excellent report!!!  Woo hoo!

Every time we come over here I’m reminded of just how many people are dealing with kidney disease. Jennifer and I are blessed that today we celebrate 90 days without dialysis. But for so many that is not the case. I will share in the post some of those we know that are waiting for a kidney.

Share with as many people as you can

I need you to share this post with as many people as you can. Today I’m sharing with you people who are in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Please share their need with as many as you can….face book and twitter would be great. If you have a blog please share this post with your followers.

Brian McAardle

Brian had a kidney transplant around thirteen years ago and is now needing another kidney. Brian has a unique situation. His dad and sister both have had transplants. Unfortunately when you have other family members needing kidney transplants and each one is the same blood type you tend to use up all the available matching kidneys from family and friends. Brian’s blood type is  O+ and can receive  a kidney from blood type O- or  O+ . In most cases is the hardest blood type  to get when you are on the waiting list. Brian has three precious children who would be so happy if their daddy could get a kidney. Brian has someone willing to pair with another family who may have someone who matches Brian but does not match their family member. So if you were tested for someone and did not  match and your blood type O and you would be willing to see if you were a match for Brian, he has someone who would be test for the person you know if you are match for Brian.If you would like to call to see if you are a match for Brian please call  1-888-822-7892. If you would like more about “paring”  and how it works email me  at 2givelife@gmail.com

Brent Vohun

A few months back Brent was diagnosed with kidney disease and is now on dialysis. Brent like Brian has small children who would be so excited for their daddy to get a new kidney. Brent’s blood type is A+ and can receive a kidney from A or O blood type. Brent is currently on dialysis and would love to end those treatments. To be tested for Brent you need to call  Barbara O’Neal at 404.605.4128 to see if you are a match.

Cathy Hill

Cathy had her first transplant in 1994 from her brother. Cathy’s kidney function is now around 17% with dialysis in the future if she does not get a kidney transplant. Cathy’s blood type is AB and she has been on the waiting list since 2010. A person with AB blood type can receive a kidney from any blood type. The number to call to be tested for Cathy is 1-888-822-7892.

Need to know information

The plus or minus factor in blood types relates only to a particular cell type in the blood and this factor is not part of the kidney. Thus, the positive or negative feature in blood typing has nothing to do with the matching of a kidney between a donor and a recipient. It remains, however, important in matching when a blood transfusion is considered.

Your privacy is strictly protected when you call to be tested…..the donor will only know you were tested if you tell them. Every step of the process is control by the one being tested. There is never any pressure placed on anyone who calls. The initial testing can be done locally where you live, it is simply having blood drawn and mailed to the hospital. If you are a match then you would have to go for a one day testing at the hospital….nothing painful! There is no cost associated with the one being tested or donating. If you would like to talk to someone who has donated a kidney please email me at 2givelife@gmail.com and I can put you in contact with a donor.

Pressing on,


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Time will tell

Time will only tell if I have a green thumb or not. In the past I don’t think it was my abilities to grow and produce amazing flowers and vegetable, it was simply the lack of interest on my part that lead them to the point of dehydration. So my potential has never been released, well that is my take on the gardening situation……I’m sure Jason’s’ thoughts are completely different.

It’s a partnership

Jason and I made a deal, he would prepare the ground and do the planting and I would take it from there (he has the easy part always). So far we have three types of big tomatoes plants, two different types of salad tomatoes plants, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers,  green bell peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, squash, and strawberries. We are going to finish up this week planting some cantaloupes and some blueberries. Oh, and maybe a small herb garden. I will be sure to provide photos of the goods when harvest time arrives.

Any tips on hydrangeas

We have three hydrangea that do really great each year……..not! The have the prettiest green leaves but only produce a few flowers. The question is where do they do the best, full sun, part sun, morning sun, evening sun? The two we have in the back yard seem to do great until July, then it seems like they just can’t take the heat. The one in our front yard does not get very much sun until the afternoon and it has grown to be the largest of the three but may only have two flowers a year. So we welcome any advise on hydrangeas.

Spring of blessing

It was about this time last year when all my doctors appointments began. I was starting to feel tired a lot and becoming nauseated almost daily. I had no idea I was in renal failure for the third time in my life and what the year would bring. My Spring this year is filled with blessings. I have been able to go watch Chloe in her golf matches, spend time with Anna as she prepares to graduate high school in   about 5 weeks and the energy to do my first  garden. I am so thankful that I am able to do all the things that I enjoy and be involved in what the girls have going on. Jason and I are coming up on our 20th anniversary and I am so excited, because we are planning a trip to go somewhere alone. It has been a while since we have done that and I can’t wait. It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since I started feeling bad and how much has happened.  God has been so good to me and I’m excited about being able to encourage others who are facing kidney disease.

live from the crazy farm,



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Have you signed up to be a donor?

The month of April is a “Donate Life Month”.  Have you signed up yet? If you have not registered to be a donor you don’t have to wait until you get your driver license renewed, you can register by going to kidney.org/transplantatio… and see how you can register to be a donor today.

Registering is not enough

I always had thought because my driver license had the little heart on it to indicate I was a donor it was a done deal……my organs would be donated if I died and that is far from the truth. I have become a lot more educated on organ donation with the help of the Alabama Organ Center. Don’t get me wrong it is so important for us to register to be an organ donor, but if we don’t take the time to set down with our family and explain our wishes the chances of our organs being donated drops off dramatically. Your next of kin will make the decision whether or not your organs will be donated at the time you pass, not you.

It’s a very sensitive issue.

When a family member is setting beside a love one as their life is drawing to an end the last thing that is on their mind sometimes is saving someone else life. I  hope that does not sound harsh, but sometimes they are consumed with the  fact of having to let someone go. Most of the situations where organs can be donated the donor has suffered a head injury, which means it has been an unexpected and sudden tragedy. So lets take a minute and put yourself in the family’s situation. You are hurting emotionally , in some cases you are losing the very thing that means the most to you in life,. In your mind you are still hoping and praying for a miracle and when someone mentions to you about taking the organs from  your loved one you might become offend and think they don’t care about your family. Please understand that is not the case if this has happened  to you or if it does sometime in the future. The hospital is required to ask these difficult questions and it is hard on the person asking the question also…..but it must be done. Please understand they know what a difficult time you are going through and would never intentionally do anything to offend you or your family.

You can remove the burden from your family

Please understand that your family is emotionally torn and is having a difficult time with the fact of the actual death and does not need any added stress. I have told my family my wishes and we have discussed it in detail. That is one decision they will not have to make. They can leave the hospital knowing they made the right choice and have a peace that through the decision other will continue to live.

Where will your organ got when you pass away? Turn to dust or save a life?

Pressing on,




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He shook my heart

The past six months have been quite the journey. I can’t explain the life changing experience that consumed my life. When my mom began to get sick again I couldn’t understand why. I mean, I knew she had recurring kidney problems but the idea that God was allowing her to go through pain and sickness was confusing.  Little did I know God had an unimaginable plan ready to shake the heart and mind of a teenage girl.

He has plans for me

A few days before Christmas my dad got a phone call from our pastor saying he wanted to come over and share something with my mom and dad. That evening my pastor shared with my family that his kidney was a match for my mom. When I heard the news a wave of emotions overwhelmed me. Through my moms illness God drew me closer to Him. I realized that I had made God earth-bound, I let myself forget that nothing in the universe holds Him down.  He proved Himself once again invincible, all-powerful, and uncontainable. He holds my life in the palm of His hand and He knows the paths I will take and the bridges I will cross. “For I know the plans I have for you,’declares the Lord,’ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11.

My senior project

As my mom went through her transplant process, I came to know of a boy named Dylan. Dylan is in the 7th grade at my high school. I had heard through the grape-vine that he was struggling with renal failure like my mom and has recently had a kidney transplant too. Around the same time my dad and I had been brain storming about a project for my senior class. Little did I know once again God was going to blow my mind. This past fall I was elected as my class president, not knowing this would give me and advantage in making an impact in the lives of someone I didn’t even know. Back to the senior project so my dad and I got in touch with people from the Alabama Organ Center who linked us with Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges is a camp for kids and teens that have been sick most of  their whole life and have received an organ transplant. The camp provides a place for kids to experience things they may have missed out on and to teach them how to take care of themselves. Camp Bridges was the answer! Through a series of meetings and a ton of planning my senior class will be putting on a week of fundraising from April 30th  to May 4th to send a child and family to camp bridges this summer. Now how do we raise awareness of kidney disease…Dylan. The fundraiser of the class of 2012 from Jacksonville High School is going to be in the honor of Dylan.

Sitting back and thinking how God has used my moms kidney failure to change my life and give me a chance to impact those around me is mind-boggling. God can change a heart in the blink of an eye.  My faith and relationship with my Lord was strengthened, refreshed, and renewed thanks to His mighty plan involving a beautiful and loving mother. “Jesus Christ is the first and last, author and finisher, beginning and end, alpha and omega, and by Him all other things hold together. He must be the first or nothing. God never comes next!” – Vance Havner




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