(WNY News Now) – Debra Reedy, a ten-year kidney disease warrior, is on the brink of needing dialysis but hopes to find a live kidney donor as an alternative, highlighting the advantages of live donations over deceased ones and the challenges posed by her specific blood type.
JAMESTOWN, NY – Debra Reedy, a resilient local woman, has been battling kidney disease for the past decade, but her fight has reached a critical juncture. With her kidney function now at a precarious 14%, she faces the possibility of undergoing dialysis unless she can secure a live kidney donor to avoid the burdensome treatment.
In an exclusive interview with WNY News Now, Debra, surrounded by her supportive family, shared her concerns and explained her preference for a live donor over a transplant from a recently deceased organ donor.
The 10-year journey of managing kidney disease has taken its toll on Debra. As her kidney function continues to decline, she is anxiously watching her levels drop towards the critical 10% mark. At this point, dialysis becomes a necessity for her survival if a suitable kidney donor does not step forward.
Debra’s apprehension towards dialysis is well-founded, given the physical and emotional strain it places on individuals. Dialysis involves the regular removal of waste and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys can no longer perform this vital function. While it is a life-saving procedure, it is also grueling and can significantly impact the quality of life. Hence, Debra’s hope to find a live kidney donor, which could potentially bypass the need for dialysis, is understandable.
The choice of a live donor over a deceased organ donor is rooted in several crucial factors. Kidneys received from deceased donors often need to be preserved on ice for a period before transplantation, essentially putting them to sleep. This “waking up” process can pose additional challenges and uncertainties. Furthermore, even after a successful transplant with a kidney from a deceased donor, Debra would still require dialysis during the immediate post-transplant period.
One of the most compelling reasons for seeking a live donor is the significantly longer lifespan of live-donated kidneys. Research has shown that live donor kidneys can last up to 20 years, providing patients with a longer and better quality of life.
However, finding a suitable live kidney donor has proven to be a daunting task for Debra. Her blood type, O positive, narrows her options substantially. She can only receive a kidney from a donor with O positive or O negative blood, making the search for a compatible donor even more challenging.
Debra’s story underscores the importance of live kidney donation and the dire need for organ donors, especially for those with unique blood types. Her plea for a live donor is not just a plea for herself but for the countless others who find themselves in similar situations.
The journey to find a live kidney donor is never easy, but it is a path towards renewed hope and the possibility of a better life for Debra and her loving family. It is a call to the community to come together, consider organ donation, and make a life-changing difference for someone in need.
In the face of adversity, Debra remains determined and resilient. Her story serves as a reminder of the power of human kindness and the ability of a community to rally behind one of its own in times of need.
For more details, you can reach out to Debra’s daughter Randa at (716) 499-4831. You can also get screened and call Deanne, who is with ECMC, at (716) 898-4931.