David Shakespeare is the epitome of an engaged citizen who cares deeply about the community and gives of himself to improve the quality of life for all citizens."

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from Mayor Dolan

 

LIVING WITH PKD

My experiences with PKD did not begin until I was 18 years old. Prior to that my life was very normal. My family and I were close. We spent many wonderful summers together, either on cross-country camping trips, attending theater festivals, or visiting with cousins.

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People tell me I’m most inspired when faced with a challenge, whether camping in the Alaskan wilderness, working for better public policies, or confronting diseases such as PKD.  My personal battle with PKD has led me to become an informed patient as well as a passionate advocate for research and a cure.

I have volunteered in PKD clinical trials that are studying how to slow the progression of this disease.

I’ve also participated in fundraising walks and met with politicians to raise money for PKD research. Finally, I’ve worked with the National Kidney Foundation, the New England Organ Bank, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association to promote extended paid sick leave for organ donors.

Now, however, my own disease has progressed to the point where I have to ask for help. My kidney function has declined dramatically; I’m tired all of the time. That is because PKD transforms normal kidneys into cyst-filled organs that no longer function.

It’s hard to think about giving up the life I love – being with my wife and family, pursuing my environmental and community work, and enjoying outdoor sports. It’s even harder to think about facing a shorter life.

That’s why I need to find a living donor before it’s too late. Otherwise I’ll have to start dialysis–which isn’t a cure, but a life support with a high mortality rate.

Many people ask, "Why not get on a list for a kidney from a deceased donor?" I am on the list, but these kidneys only last half as long as those from living donors, and the average wait for such kidneys in New England is approximately five years, a wait that doesn't start until you’re on dialysis.

For these reasons my doctors have urged us to try to find a healthy person who will donate one of their kidneys to me. While someone with blood type 0 or A would be ideal, individuals with other blood types could still help me get a transplant through a Paired Kidney Exchange. For more information, please read Becoming a Living Donor and FAQs.

I believe I am asking for someone to make a personal and extraordinary act of kindness to preserve my life. For that I will be forever grateful.

If you cannot become a donor, please consider joining my campaign by helping to spread the word.

I believe that in times of crisis, people step up with incredible acts of compassion, generosity and caring. All I need is one special person.

Thank you for your help.

David

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Dear friends,

Thank you for visiting this website and for all who have helped me so far. I appreciate your willingness to join our campaign. My life depends on finding that caring individual who is willing to donate a kidney. With your help, I know I can find that special person. I welcome all questions, comments, ideas or good wishes.

The best way to reach me is by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

You can also call 617-505-0683.

With gratitude, David

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