Sunday, November 25, 2007

My left kidney for a decent website.

One of the problems I ran into when I first started researching kidney donation was the utter lack of information. There was plenty written about live donations, but very little about altruistic, non-directed living donors. The only website I could find that really addressed the subject was something similar to a matchmaker. People with healthy kidneys would peruse potential recipients' profiles, and make a choice. The problem, a major one, is that you may choose someone with a great story (or worse, a great picture), but that doesn't mean you are a good organ match. The whole thing seemed silly; donors and recipients are not the best people to decide who gets which kidney. There is tissue matching that is required to make sure that person A's kidney will fit and be welcome in person B's body. A great backstory does nothing to improve the odds that the organ will not be rejected. In the end, it's a popularity contest, with the winner getting a better shot at finding a donor. To me, altruism should not discriminate based on color, looks, good writing skills, or anything.

So, with no real guidance from the internet, I did the only thing I could think of. I called a big hospital and told them I wanted to donate. I still think donors need a better website to help them along the way. Maybe this blog may someday turn into that...Hmmmmm.


Tom said...

Anthony, You are doing a great thing. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers as you move forward. If you ever need to speak to someone else who went through the same thing, feel free to contact me directly: simonhere at mail dot com or via phone at:7734516688.

Finally, when it comes to internet living donors, lighten up. It's a great thing that there are a wide variety of choices available to people who wish to become living donors. Every living donor takes a person off that 70,000 person waiting list. Those of us who care about this issue should encourage voluntary living kidney donations regardless of the means. I will acknowledge that non-directed living donors live on a higher moral plain than internet-directed living donors, but isn't there room for us all?

adegiulio said...

Of course, you're right. Anything that increases the number of live donors is a good thing. For me, I'll let the hospital decide who the best recipient for my kidney is, but I respect your approach. The post title "My left kidney for a decent website" isn't a diss to, but rather my disappointment with the lack of concrete info on the web for living altruistic donors. Thanks for the comment!