My brother, Phil had suffered ill health for five years due to kidney disease.
From the first seminar I attended with Phil and our family, I had no hesitation in putting myself forward for possible kidney donation. This would hopefully eliminate dialysis.
I cannot say the entire testing process was smooth. My immediate family and I endured an emotional rollercoaster certainly there were the 'up' moments where I was so pleased to be part of something that will enable a family member to live a long and happy life. Then there were the down times when I was left waiting for results of tests, days where I was off work, my children were dragged around hospitals and told that due to radiation they had to wait in rooms where I could not even see them, and the parking fines outside Fremantle hospital!
These few times left me vulnerable and questioning myself. What am I doing here - I'm not sick. This is all by choice! At the end of testing it was a good result for me and an even better result for my brother!
Yes, the surgery was painful and at times I thought I was never going to recover, but as promised by surgeons, I will be running again at six weeks post op! At the time I thought they were stretching the truth and this would never be possible, but six weeks to the day, I went with my dog for a run and felt fabulous.
I could not have put myself forward for possible donation if it were not for my wonderful husband, who supported me through the entire process - a sounding board for the emotional times, and then taking the household reigns! To him, I am forever grateful!
Phil is well and in good health. His young family are enjoying happy times with their old dad back again, the one who doesn't tire and has energy to play cricket, soccer, pool swims and lawn mowing without needing a rest. Something they had missed for many years.
To those considering live kidney donations, do it! Your physical life won't change, emotionally and spiritually you may, but you will change the life of someone close to you for the better. And that is the greatest gift!