My name is Beverly. I live in Rockport, Texas, with my husband of 18 years, Dennis. We moved back here to the gulf a year ago after having lived here 20 years earlier. I have a grown son, Troy, and 2 grandchildren who are the light of my life: Tyler, age 3; and Alaina, age 2. Unfortunately, I rarely see them because they live in Illinois, and my illness makes travel nearly impossible.
Prior to moving, I'd not felt well for quite some time. Medical tests indicated that although there was a mild problem with my kidneys, they were functioning quite adequately. No intervention was required, and my doctor advised simply keeping an eye on it. Shortly after moving, I began feeling worse, so I established myself with a new doctor. Upon receiving the results of my blood work, he immediately phoned me. I was shocked to learn that my kidneys were functioning at only 10% of capacity, and I was in end-stage renal failure!
That very same day, I was referred to a nehphologist (kidney doctor) and admitted to the hospital. A catheter was placed in my chest, and within a few hours, I had my first dialysis treatment. I was officially diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and soon placed on the waiting list for a deceased donor. While in the hospital, I underwent surgery to create a permanent access in my arm for ongoing dialysis. I have been on dialysis ever since, 4 hours a day, 3 days a week.
PKD is an incurable, usually fatal disease in which fluid-filled cysts grow in both kidneys and causing massive enlargement. My kidneys are 3 times their normal size and cause me severe pain. Although PKD is nearly always genetic, there had been no known history of kidney problems in my family. Nevertheless, none of my relatives can donate a kidney because of the possibility that a PKD gene has been passed on.
Prior to my illness, I loved to bowl, swim, ride bikes, paint, and work in stained glass. I was very active, and my friends and I did a great many fun things together. I also worked as the director of a shelter for abused women and was a volunteer victims’ advocate for the sheriff’s department. It was my heartfelt goal to help abused women learn to become independent of their abusers.
Unfortunately, I had to resign the shelter directorship because my advancing illness sapped my energy. It has been a continuing downward spiral, and I am now unable to do any type of physical activity, including housecleaning, making beds, laundry, or washing dishes. Even brushing my teeth is a difficult task. Dennis has taken on a great deal of work in helping me with activities
of daily living. Dialysis is very hard on the body; I come home from my treatments utterly exhausted and usually must take a nap for about 3 hours. I spend my non-dialysis days around home, trying to recover from the previous day so that I can make it to dialysis the following day.
The wait for a deceased-donor kidney in my part of the country is 8-10 years. I attempted to be placed on a waiting list elsewhere, but my insurance company is not set up for that. The average lifespan of someone on dialysis is only 5 years, so my best and most realistic option is to receive a kidney from a living donor.
I have Type A blood, so anyone with Type A or Type O can donate to me. However, because my transplant center, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital (in San Antonio), participates in paired donation, a person of any blood type can donate.
My insurance covers a donor's medical expenses, and you do not have to live in Texas to donate. For those who live far away, programs are available to cover transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental.
If you would like to be tested to see if you are a match for me, please call my hospital’s Living Donor Hotline toll-free at 1-800-888-0402 or locally at 210-575-4483. They will ask for my name and date of birth, which is 05/03/48.
If you like, you can learn more about me or contact me personally via my Facebook page, “I Need a Kidney for Beverly.”
When Dennis and I moved here, our intent was to retire to our own little slice of heaven . . . the land of surf, sun, and fun. I long to have my active life back, visit my grandchildren, and spend many more years with Dennis. If you have it in your heart to be my living donor, my family and I would be eternally grateful. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. If you’re unable to donate but would like to help, please share my story with others by clicking on the icons below. Thank you, and may God bless.
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