Jac met Clyde through a community theater. They were in several theater productions together. When Clyde needed a kidney Jac began to research kidney donation. “The more I researched, the more I realized I was the perfect person to do this. I was relatively healthy and had the ability and resources for the 6 week recovery period.”
How did you learn about kidney donation?
Clyde requested a kidney via Facebook and included the link to the University of MN transplant page. The website had a fair amount of information, and I did some Google searches for more information. Additionally, there were multiple steps before I was able to get approved for donation. Along the way, I connected with U of MN transplant staff, who were also more than willing to answer any questions I had.
What was the hardest part about donation? What helped you get through it?
The hardest about deciding to be a kidney donor was telling other people. Not everyone felt I should give a kidney. For that reason, I only told a handful to people prior to the surgery. The hardest part of recovery was the 3-4 days of nausea I experienced. My family provided a lot of support, and my care coordinator was able to reassure me that I would be ok.
How are you doing now?
Wonderful. I honestly have had no side effects from the surgery. The biggest change for me, is that I am not supposed to take ibuprofen very often. Other than that, there are no changes in my day to day life post-surgery.
What is one piece of advice you might give to someone thinking about donation? To someone looking for a kidney?
I did not tell Clyde that I was thinking about donating until the tests to see if I qualified to donate were complete. Clyde posted the link on his Facebook page, which allowed me to do everything without his knowledge. This allowed me to go through the process, ask my questions, and have a better understanding of what being a donor means, without worrying about letting Clyde down. When I felt ready to commit, Clyde was notified.
What do you want the world to know about organ donation?
My transplant team gave me a lot of confidence to move forward. They continually reminded me that they were my team, and not Clyde's team. They reassured me that if I ever changed my mind, they would back me 100% and take care of cancelling the surgery. They also reassured me that they would not complete the surgery if they had any concerns at all about it. Before donating, I had to go through a very through physical exam, which included multiple tests and a psychosocial assessment with a social worker. If they would have found anything that gave them pause or myself pause, they would not have done the surgery. For that reason, I felt confident going into surgery
Are you thinking about organ donation- check out our resources on www.kidney.org/bigaskbiggive