My name is David. I’m 60 years old and live in Meriden, Connecticut. My wife, Celeste, and I have been together for 26 years, and I have helped raise 5 daughters. We are the proud grandparents of 8 grandchildren who range in age from 2 to 22 . . . so you can see I have some very special reasons for seeking a kidney donor.
From a young age, I was very athletic and played sports into my 40‘s. Being an avid swimmer, I taught our 5 daughters to swim, and I look forward to teaching my young grandchildren to play baseball and football one day.
In my free time, I enjoy woodworking and still try to do it when I am feeling well enough. Although my disease prevents me from doing so now, I used to enjoy participating in car shows. Beginning in 1990, I built a street rod which I entered it car shows. It took 15 years to complete because buying prom and wedding dresses put a hold on my car fund. I won various show awards, but seeing my daughters’ smiles on their special days made the wait worth it. Now they’re educated, grown, and making their way through life. Watching them mother their own children fills my heart with delight.
Celeste and I have spent many years working to provide for our children. I started out at 8 years old, helping on job sites in my family’s commercial roofing company. Through the years, I was promoted, and eventually became foreman. About 15 years ago, I decided to go into business on my own and became a general contractor. Unfortunately, I’m no longer able to work because of my illness; Celeste continues to work as full-time medical scribe and part-time waitress.
By the time I was 45, two of our daughters were married with families, while 3 were still at home. Celeste and I were beginning to look forward to a new phase of our lives when my diabetes began causing problems. I’d been seeing a doctor for it regularly, but it wasn’t until I was hospitalized for a work-related injury that we discovered it was causing kidney failure. We’d kept the diabetes under control for years, but this new development was a shock!
Immediately upon learning about my kidney failure, we hired a nutritionist, changed our diet, took special diabetes-care classes, and developed a regular exercise routine. Celeste continues to do online kidney research daily, and we keep in touch with dialysis center and transplant professionals on a regular basis.
We were successful in slowing the progression of my kidney disease until about 2½ years ago, when I was forced to begin dialysis. Spending 4 hours a day, 3 days a week is not what I imagined for myself as I approached retirement, but it’s what I must do to survive. Dialysis, however, is only a temporary solution and does merely one-tenth the work that a kidney can do. Because dialysis is so hard on the body, the average life expectancy for someone in my position is only 5 years. And, the wait for a deceased donor in my area of the country is 3-5 years . . . so I am desperately seeking a living donor.
Unfortunately, no one in my family is able to donate to me. I have Type O blood, but because my transplant center participates in paired donation, a person of any blood type can be a donor. The surgery is performed via laparoscopy, and donors usually spend only 2-3 days in the hospital. My insurance company covers all transplant-related medical costs, and you do not have to be a resident of Connecticut to donate. For donors who live far away, programs are available to cover the costs of transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental.
My transplant center, Yale-New Haven Hospital Transplant Center, is ranked by U.S. News Best Hospital ratings as one of the best in the nation. If you would like to be tested to see if you could be a donor for me, please contact my transplant coordinator, Grace, at 203-688-7790. Calling Grace directly is the most expedient way to make contact, but if you're unable to make a long-distance call, you may call the center toll-free at 866-925-3897; be sure to ask for Grace specifically, or your phone call will not be routed to her.
I long to spend time with my family and watch my grandchildren grow. Your generosity will not only save my life, but spare my family the heartache of losing me as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for considering living donation. If you are unable to donate but would like to help, please share my story with others by click on the icons below. Thanks so very much.
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