In case you’ve only recently discovered this blog, you should know that I donated my kidney to my adult son, Paul, on June 27, 2006 (he shared his reflections in a 2019 post). This week we arrived at the Sweet 16 mark! Both of my kidneys, by the way, are still going strong, faithfully doing their job–just in different bodies.
The Comeback Kidney, as “he” was named, is healthy, and Paul’s overall kidney function is stable. Mine, happily, is perfectly normal, particularly considering that people’s kidney function declines with age, and I just turned 74. The other important measure is for creatinine–to show how well the kidney is filtering toxins–and I’m proud to say that mine is an impressive .84 (under 1.1 is normal for women).
So, 16 years out from donation, even though I’m a lot older than I was then, I’m very healthy and active (read: I walk and hike). I was never athletic, but lots of living donors are. If you’re a potential donor and have any concerns about donation cramping your lifestyle, learn about the Kidney Donor Athletes. They enjoy ultra-marathons, triathlons, and in March they celebrated World Kidney Day by climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak!
Our kidney celebrations are a bit more mundane. We went out to dinner to honor the occasion, as we do every year at this time. (The notable exception was, of course, 2020, when we “celebrated” the best we could in our front yard.)
For related posts and information on my new book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation, be sure to explore the rest of my website.