Check-In: Two Years In…My Transplantiversary!

2 year transplantiversary cake

Two years ago on December 26, 2017, I received the greatest gift from my wonderful donor.

transplant hero donor

It’s been 2 years — my transplantiversary– it’s hard to believe because time flies so quickly now.

Things are settling out a bit.

  • My kidney seems to be trucking along fine. I work hard to stay hydrated — I have become a big fan of HINT water.
  • My calcium levels had been borderline high. One of the side effects of kidney disease is that it throws your parathyroid out of wack. There are medications you can take for that. When you have a transplant, the parathyroid may come back or not. My levels have remained borderline so I started taking a small dose of that medication. So far so good.
  • My hemoglobin A1C has been borderline as well. I lost 15 pounds during the summer to try to manage that. We will see how that goes. The antirejection meds while amazing are often unkind to the pancreas. I will be working on that.

Family Update

  • Thomas and I went to Grand Cayman this summer. It is such a beautiful island. It is so wonderful to be able to travel without lugging my dialysis machine around with me.
Cyaman Islands trip
  • This summer after the picture above, I lost a lot of my extra weight on the Optavia program which I am going to put Kendall on a modified version of during the holidays (after Christmas dinner!). I am going to do it with her — it’s a gentle keto-like program where you eat multiple small meals/snacks a day and one or two healthy portion-controlled meals. She has gained weight so far this school year, and with her leg problems, we have to nip that in the bud early.
  • She’s also going to high school next year. I can’t believe it!
  • Joshua has finished his applications for college — just waiting for responses. We are working on scholarships now. I can’t believe he’s leaving already!
  • Thomas and I are planning for a family graduation trip next summer. More details later.
  • My father has had a rough go of it over the last few months. But over the past week, his doctors have managed to make him feel better but now we have more tests to see why he is not feeling well.
family photo 2019
Brooks Family Christmas 2019

Transplantiversary Celebration

Unlike last year, I am going to actually celebrate my 2-year transplantiversary. I had a cake made! I have one question: Why is the kidney so small? Ha Ha!

My cake in the shop. Why is the kidney so small? LOL

We are going to a friend’s house for brunch on the 26th (without J — he’s playing basketball in another city). He reminded me of the fact that he won’t be around for several days after Christmas so some of my leftover Christmas meal may go to waste!

On to year 3! It’s going to be an exciting year! I have plans! LOL

Other Happenings

2020 planners
  • I have been working on my novel — I was getting it edited but hit some snags. I will get that finished within the first six months of 2020.

Thank you for continuing to share my posts and my Facebook page to help spread the word about other people who are looking for their angels. Let’s keep spreading stories for others who are in the same spot I was.

I am going to have a happy transplantiversary! Thank you for reading and have a beautiful day!

thank you!
Thank you for your support!

Be Inspired–Give Life!

Dominique

Wanted: A Kidney for Cindy Elrod

My name is Cindy Elrod. I am a wife, a mother, and I need a kidney. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease in December 2013. I have been on the waiting list since then. I am on two waiting lists, actually, in hopes that I will be able to receive a transplant sooner rather than later. The most certain and expeditious way for me to receive a transplant is to reach out to potential living donors. I am sharing my plea and hope that you will make the call to be tested should you feel compelled to do so.

Since being diagnosed with PKD and renal failure, I have been on peritoneal dialysis. For 9 hours each night, I am hooked to a machine designed to rid my body of toxins since my kidneys can no longer function as they should. I visit the doctor as least twice each month, have monthly labs drawn, and went from taking no medications to taking ten pills daily. Needless to say, it is a lot to keep up with and can be physically exhausting. I am limited in my ability to travel to spend time with family and friends, as the equipment and supplies required for peritoneal dialysis are bulky and numerous. I also have diet restrictions to include no chocolate, ice cream, or sodas.

Receiving a transplant would change my life in so many ways. I would have the time and energy to be the active mom I would like to be. I would be free from dialysis, allowing me more freedom to travel and visit family and friends. I would feel better and be able to enjoy the things I am currently missing.
If you would like to be tested as my potential donor, I could never thank you enough. My blood type is O. I can receive a direct transplant from all Type O blood types but anyone could potentially help me, as both of my transplant centers participate in the Paired Exchange Program.

More information on Paired Exchange can be found here:
https://unos.org/donation/kidney-paired-donation/

I am on the transplant waiting list at:
Augusta University
Coordinator: Kate Hefner
706-721-2888, ext. 8560

Or visit: augustahealth.org/transplant, then click on “Become a Living Donor”.

As mentioned above, I am listed at a second transplant center:
Medical University of South Carolina
Coordinator: Sarah Parker
1-800-277-8687

Please let them know you would like to be tested to become a living donor for me, Cynthia M. Elrod, DOB 4/23/60.

Thank you for reading my story and for helping however you can. You can follow my page here if you’d like.
https://www.facebook.com/cindy.m.elrod

Weekly Digest- Wanted: A Kidney for Nikki

It’s the middle of spring, I am 4 months out from surgery, and I really am looking forward to summer! The weather has been weird this year, hasn’t it? Hopefully, it’s on the upswing, right?

So far so good with my transplant. We are still changing medicines, but the kidney is working well. Hooray!

I still would love some stories for donors and families of kidney donors. But until then, I am going to try to highlight stories of other people looking for donors. I published these on Facebook, but I didn’t put them on my blog. So, I think I am going to publish the stories of the people that I share on Facebook on the blog as well. Some may get a solo post depending on how much information is provided on Facebook or if they or a family member sends it in. Just another chance for exposure…

Joel

Joel is a single father of 2 beautiful kids (11-year-old son & 15-year-old daughter) who still works full time as a home health Physical Therapist (despite having ESRD (Endstage Renal/Kidney Failure) & being on Dialysis 3X a week for 12-15 hours per week). He’s been a physical therapist for 30 years now.

Hospital: Methodist Specialty Transplant Hospital, San Antonio, Texas. Visit his Facebook page for more information.  

 

Hahn

 

This is another person looking for a kidney donor.
Her name is Hanh Nguyen. She is 34 years old and mother to a 2-year-old boy. Her blood type is Type O. For more information, please send a

message through her Facebook page.

 

Please consider! My husband Marcus Lewis is 28-years-old with stage 5 end renal failure. He is on dialysis 3x a week and will remain until he finds a kidney. MarcusHe has been on be transplant list for 3 yrs. He was diagnosed with CKD November 7, 2013. Marcus has 2 children and 2 step children. He married in July 2017.

If you can find it in your heart to get tested, please call the number on the poster to Piedmont in Atlanta. 404-605-4792.

 

My name is Manjinder Singh and I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013.

ManjinderI am highly convinced that upon receiving a kidney I will have a completely different outlook on life, in fact I already do. A second chance at life will mean everything to me and my family. A chance to live out my dreams again, a chance to attend medical school and most important a chance to help others in need. My inspiration remains the same as before. I have always sought ways of helping those that are less fortunate. Community service is a huge concept in my religion and it is something that I value very much. If I am given a second chance at life, I will make sure it doesn’t go to waste, but rather I become an example of someone who did the right thing.

If after reading my brief story you feel like having yourself tested to be a potential donor, please contact the following transplant center and/or visit this link to fill out a kidney donor questionnaire using my DOB of 10/07/1988 and full name of Manjinder Singh. I thank you for reading about my struggle and possibly considering to be a donor.

California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC): 415-600-1700

Please share to help get the word out for these people.

Be Inspired—Give life!

Dominique

April is National Donate Life Month!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend (for those who celebrate it) or Passover (for those who celebrate that). We had a nice family dinner and relaxed the rest of the day. It’s a nice way to go into the weekend.

However, the new week begins, and it’s back to normal. But this week is the start of an important month…

National Donate Life Month (NDLM)!

During April, there are many local, regional, and national events that encourage Americans to sign up as organ donors and to celebrate previous organ donors.

Donate Life America has released some statistics about organ donation:

  • In 2016, there were more than 33,600 transplants (from 9,900 deceased and 5,900 living donors).
  • More than 116,000 men, women, and children are waiting for organ transplants.
  • About 58% of the patients waiting for transplants are minorities.
  • Another person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • 8,000 people die each year (22 people each day — almost one person each hour) because an organ is not donated in time.

Most people who are waiting for an organ transplant need kidneys (80%).

Donating doesn’t only mean organs — there’s also a need for donated tissue.

  • Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants; the surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising.
  • A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.
  • 48,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year. As a resident in ophthalmology, I have participated in this process both in the operating room and in the discussions with the family.

Not including living donors, more than 138 million people, approximately 56% of the U.S. adult population, have registered to be organ, eye and tissue donors.

To register as an organ donor, visit RegisterMe.org. To learn more about organ donation, visit Donate Life America.

I have gathered a few stories to start publicizing on the site but it’s not too late.if anyone else wants to tell their story – as a donor, family member of a deceased donor, or recipient. Please contact me if you want to write about your experience.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.

For more about my journey after kidney transplantation, you can visit my blog Life: The Reboot .

Be Inspired – Give Life!

Dominique