A glimpse into barbara's life & her struggle with End Stage Renal Disease
Barbara is our mother, best friend, and also a loving wife and grandmother. And, Barbara needs a kidney transplant because of a disease called FSGS. Her kidney trouble started many years ago, back when she was pregnant with her youngest daughter. Her kidney function deteriorated very slowly in the decades that followed, but when she got septicemia in 2009, a faster drop in her levels was triggered. In mid-2013, her name was added to the national transplant list, and it September 2015, her nephrologist said it was time to start doing peritoneal dialysis.
The last couple of years have been very stressful and an enormous life change for our mom. She is usually exhausted, “spacey,” and says she doesn’t feel like herself. As a result, she retired from teaching preschool music after 22 years and no longer has the energy to take care of her grandkids each afternoon.
Barbara’s doctor says she is an excellent candidate for a kidney transplant. There are two types available: a deceased donor transplant—one she would need to get from the national wait list—or a living donor transplant, where a friend, family member, or even an acquaintance can donate.
Our mom may have to stay on the wait list for 7+ years for a deceased donor, and yet the average patient only survives for four years on dialysis—a treatment she has received since 2015.
If we find Barbara a living donor kidney, which lasts much longer and starts working much faster than a deceased donor kidney, then the transplant could happen as soon as three months from now. Years of dialysis could cause significant damage to Barbara’s body and simply won’t give her the health or quality of life that a living donor transplant would.
Our mom has had a rough few years, and we find it heartbreaking to watch this decline in her health. We would like to donate ourselves, but we're not a match and neither are the other members of our family. Both of us are on the Paired Kidney Donation list (also known as a "kidney swap") in the hope that we can eventually save our mother's life.
It is challenging for Barbara to spread the word to others about her illness given everything she has on her plate. We are here to answer all questions, and so are the living donor coordinators at UC Health.
Our mom has always been our champion, and now we are hers. Thank you for helping us find Barbara a kidney!
Marlow Hoffman & Nicole Hoffman Myers
Take a few minutes to contact UC Health's Transplant Department and ask to speak with a Living Kidney Donor Coordinator. They can answer any questions you have about the donation process and let you know if you could be a potential match for Barbara. The number is 720.848.0855.
You can also fill out a confidential online questionnaire to see if you're eligible to donate to Barbara.
If you pass the phone screening and would like to proceed with the process, the next step is a simple blood test. You'll be guided every step of the way and can opt out at any time. Recovery for living donors is roughly 2-3 weeks. If you're not a match but would still like to save Barbara's life, ask the Living Donor Coordinator about Paired Kidney Donation (also known as a donor swap).