We are thrilled to have received this note from Christopher's mother recently: "On May 31st (2014), Christopher received his gift of life! We are so happy for him. He is now home resting and taking all his meds. Thank you all for your prayers."
My name is Christopher Reilly. I am 36 years old, and I need a kidney transplant. When I was 2 years old, I was diagnosed with blockages in my urinary system. The blockages were so bad that they damaged my kidneys. My parents took me to a pediatric urologist in Boston, where he performed several major surgeries. Unfortunately, my kidneys had been damaged so badly that they began to fail, and by age 21, I was on dialysis.
As I was growing up, I was unable to play like other children and unable to take gym class because of my weakened condition. I spent my childhood in and out of hospitals, primarily in Boston, where my specialists were. I got sick a lot and missed a lot of school. When I was in college, I began dialysis. It was very difficult to attend classes while on dialysis 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. Very often, I missed classes because I was so weak and tired. As a result, it took me nearly 6 years to complete college. But I did it!
I received a transplant from a deceased donor in July, 2001. After that, I was able to get a job I love, go to grad school, and get my master's degree in computer engineering. I was also able to sail across the Atlantic Ocean with a crew I met through an Internet web site. I love sailing, and I was able to buy a boat so I could sail whenever I wanted.
A deceased donor kidney, however, lasts only about 9 - 10 years. Mine lasted exactly 9 years and 1 day. I have been back on dialysis since July, 2010. Because dialysis is so hard on the body, I can no longer sail much--I am too weak. I am still working, although it is very difficult: I get up, go to work, and have dialysis after work. Most days, I am so worn out that I just go home and go to bed. My life pretty much consists of work, dialysis, and sleep.
My doctors tell me that because dialysis wears the body out, people who have lost a transplant have an average lifespan of only 2 years on dialysis. I have been on dialysis for 2 years now, and I am worried. I really need a living donor to save my life.
I am unmarried, and my family is not able to donate to me. My mother, father, and brother all have medical problems that make it impossible. I am praying for a miracle...for a wonderful person willing to donate life to me. A new kidney will save my life, and I will be so very grateful. I will have the energy to do the things that I did before I lost my kidney and to enjoy life once again.
If you think you would be a good candidate to donate a kidney to me, please call the Johns Hopkins Hospital and ask for the Paired Kidney Exchange Coordinator. My blood type is O+, but through Johns Hopkins’ paired donation program, a person of any blood type can donate to me. (You can find information about paired donation here.)
Johns Hopkins Hospitalh
Paired Kidney Exchange Program (Ask for the coordinator.)
1-800-908-5728 or 410-614-6074
You can read about Johns Hopkins' kidney transplant program here.
You can also speak with a counselor at The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
This site contains a wealth of information that explains living donation. I hope you will browse the site, share it with others, and consider giving me life...the Gift of Life.