My name is Megan Radebach. I'm 30 years old and live in Cranston, Rhode Island, with my boyfriend, Ryan, and our dog, Boscoe. I'm a full-time medical assistant and enjoy cooking and taking Boscoe to the dog park on my non-dialysis days.
When I was 9 years old, I was diagnosed with Kidney Reflux Disease—in which urine flows in the wrong direction, backs up into the kidneys, and damages them. I started dialysis shortly after I was diagnosed, and had my first kidney transplant at age 14.
At the age of 21, however, my kidney failed, and I had to go back on dialysis. I had been on it for nearly 2 years when an angel came into my life, my friend Doris. She was a perfect match, and the surgery went well.
But my world was shattered again in February, 2011, when I learned that I was in renal failure again. I went back on dialysis the following month. Now I am in need of another transplant. However, none of my friends or family are suitable matches for me. Unfortunately, it will be difficult—though not impossible--to find a match because the body of a previous transplant patient builds up antibodies against foreign tissues...meaning that my body would react against a kidney from all but the most well-matched donor. (You can read more about compatibility and antibodies here.)
Although I have Type O blood, my transplant center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, participates in paired donation, so that anyone of any blood type can donate.
If you would like to be tested to see if you are a match, please contact my transplant coordinator, Michelle. You can contact her toll-free by calling 1-855-278-8010 and asking for the kidney transplant program. Or, if you live locally, you can reach Michelle at 617-732-8349. You do not have to be a Massachusetts resident to donate. Donors can live anywhere in the U.S., and there are organizations that will cover the cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental.
Please continue this journey with me by visiting my Facebook page, Spare a Kidney for Megan.
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. Thank you!