It is the holiday season and the time of gift giving. A few weeks ago, I received a message on CaringBridge from my long-time dear friend Dr. Ellen Sherman about a gift of life.
But first a little Blue Brain back-story. Ellen and I met when we were both pregnant with our eldest sons. Ellen’s husband, Craig, and my husband, Jordan, graduated from Northwestern Law School together. Ellen knew Jordan because they both lived on the South Side of Chicago, and I knew Craig through a mutual high school friend. Our 44 year friendship, between the four of us, is a cherished life-time gift!
Ellen has been suffering with kidney disease since 2002 and we knew that some day she would need a transplant. That time has come.
Jordan and I called Ellen and sadly learned that Craig, Jordan, and I are unable to be kidney donors. We all are beyond 65 years of age. However, I told Ellen that I would be happy to “help by conveying her message to anyone I know or meet.” My first thought was my social media sites and my blog. Ellen agreed and that is why I am writing this post today from my Blue Brain and Heart! If you or anyone you know would be a possible donor please contact Ellen. All of Ellen’s contact information is at the end of this post.
Thank you for reading this post and sharing Ellen’s request with others who could be a donor or know someone who could give Ellen the Gift of Life!
Below is the letter Ellen asked me to share:
“I find myself in the unusual position of asking for your help in a quest for a kidney donor. This is a difficult task for someone who has always helped others as a daughter, wife, mother, sister, grandmother, teacher, friend, and family therapist.
I was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2002 and have lived with the knowledge that I would require a transplant since then. My physician recently told me that I will need a kidney transplant within the year or require dialysis.
I have had a lot of testing the last few months and my name was placed on the transplant waiting list at the University of Miami.
No one in my family qualifies as a donor. Most people who are healthy and under 65 can donate. I am pursuing a living donor for two main reasons: kidneys from living donors last, on average, twice as long as kidneys from cadavers and because the waiting list for a cadaver kidney could be as long as 7 years.
Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:
• We are born with an extra kidney – you only need one to live a full, healthy, long life.
• The majority of the donor surgery is done laproscopically, with tiny incisions.
• The recuperation period is generally 5 days to 2 weeks for those with a desk job.
• The surgery would be done at Jackson Memorial hospital at the University of Miami which has some of the best surgeons in the country with a state of the art transplant program.
• All expenses would be paid by my insurance benefits.
• A genetic link between donor and recipient, although beneficial, is not necessarily required. This is largely due to improved anti-rejection medications and kidney matching programs.
• Most donors report if that they would donate again in a heartbeat and that they are honored to have given someone a gift of life.
Please help in conveying my message to anyone you know or meet.
Potential donors can contact Frankie Hutcheson at 954-600-8811 or e-mail her at Frankie@shermanslaw.com.
More information is available at: http://www.kidney.org/
ELLEN A. SHERMAN, PhD
2499 Glades Rd., Suite 108
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Please Spread the Word