An average kidney transplant lasts between 10-15 years. The kidney Ken received from his mother has lasted over 45 years -- still going strong and looking forward to the future.
Kidney disease may have slowed Margaret a bit, but it hasn't stopped her. For right now, her energy is focused on finding a kidney donor.
Margaret worked a challenging career, advocating for and working with high-risk children. It was work that was close to her heart, but she was looking forward to “the sweet life of retirement,” traveling and spending time with George, her husband of more than 51 years, their children and grandchildren. Then, after suffering two kidney infections, she was suddenly and surprisingly diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney disease.
Margaret is fortunate that most days, she feels fine and wouldn’t know she was sick unless she had been given the diagnosis. But she is hoping that will find a living kidney donor before having to go on dialysis. In the past, she watched her younger sister undergo grueling dialysis treatments and is hoping that she won’t have to go through that experience. Going on dialysis would wear on her a lot physically and would make it impossible for her and her husband to travel to their native Canada to visit their family – which they would like to do after the pandemic ends.
One of the things that encourages Margaret as she awaits a transplant is her and George’s participation in the Erase the Wait mentorship program. Erase the Wait is teaching them about what she’s going through and how to creatively share her story and hopefully find a living donor.
For anyone who is considering being tested as a living donor, Margaret has a bit of advice: “Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can, because donation is an involved process that doesn’t just affect you – it affects your whole family. Then make the best decision you can for you.”
Margaret has hope that someday soon she will find her own living donor. She’s had several people look into being tested but has not found a match yet. Margaret believes the perfect match will come at the right time. After transplant, she hopes to be able to return to volunteer work – something she has loved in the past, but can’t currently do. And she also wants to be able to participate in all of the activities her four small grandchildren enjoy. She’s ready for that “sweet life of retirement” that she and George have worked so hard for – traveling and being outdoors, playing in the snow or gardening.