I was asked to write about my experience of being a living donor. For a long time I have had a frame with a quote in it on my desk: "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." I truly believe that this is true after my experience of being a living donor.
My husband Dick Layman was diagnosed with the renal failure in Iowa City in January of 2010 until his death on August 23, 2013, he went to dialysis three days a week. He was put on the kidney transplant list in January of 2010. Due to health issues, he was at times pulled from the list, but he was never able to get a kidney transplant. We had numerous people step up to the plate to donate a kidney to him; however, in every case there was either a medical issue that the prospective donor had that precluded them being able to donate a kidney.
Late in the summer of 2015, I found out that a friend of mine needed a kidney transplant and had recently been placed on the transplant list. I called him on my cell phone on the way home from work and told him, not knowing if we were a match or not, that I would donate a kidney to him. He said that he would wait for a deceased donor. I told him that there were over 130,000 people on the waiting list in the United States for a kidney. I contacted the transplant center after we found out that we were the same blood type and started the process to be approved for the kidney donation. We were a match and I completed the testing necessary to ensure that I could safely donate a kidney. The transplant took place on Wednesday, November 18, 2015; I was released from the hospital the following Sunday.
Both of us are doing fine following the transplant. He has a family that will hopefully never have to go through what our family endured.