DIANE HALKO 

 

Sadly, Diane passed away in August, 2013. As Ellen Dore, a friend of Diane, noted, "She was a very giving person who had a tremendous and meaningful impact on her community. The world lost a treasure when Diane passed away." Diane's story remains here in her memory.

 

 

Hello.  My name is Diane, and I am about to celebrate my 58th birthday. I live in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with Len, my husband of 32 years. We are blessed to have one son, Nicholas, who is 31 and married. 

 

There are many things I enjoy doing. I love to read Amish fiction and visit Amish country. I teach a Bible study group and am a past president of our local Lions International club. I take great pleasure in spending time volunteering and currently help to run a program that provides food to those in need.

 

I mentioned that I am almost 58, but in my heart, I will turn four in October: Due to a genetic condition that took my mother, grandfather, and uncle, my aortic valve burst in 2009. I was hospitalized for 9 months and now have a mechanical heart valve. During my hospitalization, I was given a medication that saved my life--for which I am most grateful--but unfortunately damaged my kidneys.

 

Thankfully, except for my kidneys, I am in very good health now. I‘ve been on dialysis for a little over 3 years and was listed for a deceased-donor transplant in September, 2012. However, a living-donor transplant is my best option for survival for many reasons. One of the major differences is that a living-donor kidney lasts, on average, twice as long (about 20 years) as a kidney from a deceased donor. And, the wait for a deceased-donor kidney in my part of the country is about 4-5 years. Although some people live longer, the average life span of someone on dialysis is only 5 years; thus, the 3 years I have already been on dialysis, added to a 4-5 year wait may be longer than my body will hold out.

 

I have Type O blood, but because my transplant center participates in paired donation, a person of any blood type can donate.

 

My transplant will take place at Rhode Island Hospital, however, you need not be a resident of Rhode Island (or Massachusetts) to donate. Funds are available to cover donors’ transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental for a donor and accompanying person. Also, all medical expenses are covered by my insurance.

 

If you are interested in seeing whether you might be able to donate to me, please contact my coordinator, Yvonne, at 401-444-3091. Or, you may e-mail my transplant team at webteam@lifespan.org. If you like, you may also contact me at diane.hk@aol.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and contemplate the possibility of donating to me. It takes a very special person to consider giving of yourself for some one you do not know, and I greatly appreciate your doing so. Thank you again.

 

                                                                  Sincerely,

                                                                  Diane