GOOD NEWS! Cheryl received a transplant from a living donor on April 4, 2017 and reports that both she and her donor are doing well!
My name is Cheryl Ferris. I am a 64-year-old social worker living in Ipswich, MA, a small coastal town north of Boston, with my husband of 29 years, Robert. I am actively and urgently seeking an amazing person to be my kidney donor.
At age 25, I learned that I had inherited a disorder known as polycystic kidney disease. Cysts form in the kidneys, eventually rendering them totally non-functional. I watched my father die of this disease after 5 very difficult years of dialysis treatments. I have been fortunate to be mostly symptom-free until 2 years ago. Nausea and fatigue made it difficult for me to continue working, and I was placed on the deceased-donor waiting list for a kidney. The wait in my area with my blood Type O is 5 - 7 years. This is why I am seeking a living donor. In addition, living-donor kidneys last nearly twice as long as deceased-donor kidneys. Unfortunately, members of my immediate family are unable to help due to also inheriting the disease or having other medical issues. A dononr candidate must be in good health and does not have to live near me. While Type O is the ideal match for me, others can donate a kidney through a paired donation program affiliated with my transplant center. My insurance covers the costs of donor testing and surgery.
Over the past 2 years, I was so fortunate to have 4 friends/acquaintances go through the testing process in attempts to become my donor, but they were all screened out for various reasons. In August, 2016, I had to begin dialysis treatments 3 times per week, 4 hours per treatment. While serving as a valuable life-extending treatment, complications are not uncommon. Dialysis provides the equivalent of only 10 - 15% normal kidney function. Complicating the situation even further is that over time, my health will deteriorate to the point that I will no longer be considered a viable transplant candidate, so my need for a transplant has become even more urgent.
All my life, I have been an active person, enjoying hiking, camping, bicycling, and traveling. I worked as a social worker in the mental health field and as an elder-care manager, helping seniors and their families plan for their life and care needs. As our only daughter, Shara, is a single working parent of 3 incredible children, my husband and I are quite involved in their care. It is my hope that I will be able to continue being involved in their lives to watch and help them grow up to be strong, caring individuals.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming my donor, you may contact either my transplant coordinator or me. Please be sure to give my name as the transplant recipient.
Transplant Coordinator: Andrea Kershaw
Tufts Medical Center, Department of Transplant Surgery
You can also find a donor screening form here.
If you like, you may contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about me, please visit my Facebook page.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I would greatly appreciate your sharing it with others as well.
My grandhildren: Olivia, Jason, and Matthew.