I was struck then by his intelligence and sense of commitment to protecting the environment. Since then we’ve discovered more common ground; we each have been affected by PKD.
My brother, Fred, was diagnosed with PKD in his early twenties. I had not thought much about how the disease affected my brother for decades.
He appeared healthy, with a vibrant zest for life. In the early 2000s my brother’s kidney function really declined; his lack of energy was apparent.
It wasn’t long before he would either need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Since dialysis is far from optimum (it’s time consuming and hard on the heart) I decided to donate one of my kidneys to my brother in 2006.
The transplant was completely successful. Fred’s kidney functioning returned to normal. The day after his surgery his energy level was fantastic, and it continues to remain so. My own recovery was uneventful. I was walking around the ward the same day I donated.
Three days later, I left the hospital and started a regular walking routine. Physically, I feel as good today as I did prior to the kidney donation and expect I will continue living a perfectly normal life.
I have made many choices that have brought me satisfaction: some temporal and others, deep and long lasting. Being a living kidney donor for my brother was a choice that has given me a tremendous sense of fulfillment.
As a result, Fred has a perfectly normal life and projected life span. All I had to do was choose to show up for him. It’s given my brother years of precious life to share with his family and friends.
I feel truly blessed to have been asked to donate and for having made the choice to be a kidney donor. I hope you will consider making that choice for David.
Hilary Jean, David’s colleague