Kidney donation gives people a new lease on life when they no longer have functioning kidneys. Yet often, kidney recipients and potential donors who care about them are not good matches, and this can create a struggle for families in need of help. The paired kidney donation process is a great way to mix up interested donors and needy recipients so that everyone can benefit.
While we often talk about the Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation algorithm and how it helps with this process, the fact is that hearing from people who have used it is always the best way to understand the far-reaching benefits of this program. Here is a donor story that can shed some light on just how impactful the APKD programs and services can be.
Lindsey and Nick
Lindsey Derocher is one of our living donors. She wanted to donate to help her brother-in-law, Nick. This particular pair was a match for each other, but they still benefited from the services of APKD.
Lindsey took part in our Donor Protection Program. Through the program, she received travel reimbursement and lost wages coverage during her surgery and recovery period. The donor protection program also provides travel coverage for the support person who comes with the living donor, and they provide insurance against complications due to the donation surgery.
This is an important part of APKD, because many willing donors feel they can’t afford the donation process and time off work. Some find themselves forced to return to work before they are fully recovered, which puts them at risk for surgical complications. We take that concern away through the Donor Protection Program.
Lindsey had this to say about her participation:
“The Donor Protection Program afforded me benefits that allowed me to focus on myself and my recovery. Without the worry of missed pay or added expenses, I was able to commit to myself, truly evaluate my health and make decisions that had my health in mind vs. our family’s financial situation. Without the program’s assistance, I would have gone back to work too early and delayed my recovery, leaving myself unavailable to my husband and children, and not bringing the best version of me back to work. I am tremendously grateful for you all!”
Lindsey’s donation and Nick’s transplant surgeries were both successful. Nick and Lindsey are fully recovered, and today they both live their lives to the fullest. According to Lindsey, “Nick and I both returned to things we love: me, Michigan football tailgating and friends, and Nick, to his bike! We are both doing well!”
One Story of Many
Lindsey and Nick’s donation story shows the power of APKD and our signature programs to make kidney donation possible. Just because they did not need to use the paired donation database due to being a family-based match, this pair was still able to utilize our services to make their donation a success story. We wish both Lindsey and Nick many years of health and happiness, and we thank Lindsey for her gift of kidney donation.