My Story: 25-Year-Old Son Donated Kidney To His Mother & Saved Her From Dialysis
Finding out that someone you love is struggling with a chronic condition is life-changing. I will never forget the day two years ago when my sister called to tell me my mother was sick. I immediately left work and got on the first plane to Tallahassee, Fla., to be by my mother’s side. After she was diagnosed with kidney disease, the onset was slow at first, but then she took a turn for the worse. My aunt offered to donate a kidney to her, but due to her own struggles with high blood pressure, she wasn’t a good match. I knew I had to step up and help my mother who always took care of me when I was sick. When I first offered to donate one of my kidneys to her, my mother refused. However, after much convincing and pleading, she finally said yes.
Last year on World Kidney Day, when I was 25 years old, I donated my left kidney to my mother. Donating a kidney was a life-altering experience that I will never forget. Because of the donation, she was able to avoid lengthy dialysis treatments and is now able to live a healthier life.
After we both recovered from the transplant, I was inspired to spread the word about kidney disease prevention and organ donation awareness. These days, I spend my time traveling around the country speaking with patients and individuals who have family members struggling with kidney disease. Often, I find family members have many questions about donating an organ, and are worried about how donation will impact their life. I tell them in my experience, donating a kidney to my mother was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The reality is you only need one kidney to survive. And for most kidney patients, a kidney transplant is a chance for a better life.
Over the past year, I’ve spent time visiting dialysis centers and built friendships with patients who are living with kidney disease. I’ve listened to their struggles with dialysis and medications, and I understand the daily challenges they face with this chronic condition.