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Diary of a Kidney Donor

Ethan's journey to becoming a kidney donor.

"About eight-years ago, I received some news that would unknowingly change the course of my life. It all began with a casual conversation when the term chronic kidney disease (CKD) was mentioned. I had no idea what CKD was and neither did they, nor did we know how would affect us both in the long run. The conversation ended with me saying “well, if you eventually need a kidney, you can have one of mine.”

A few years later, a more serious conversation was had. Their kidney function was dropping regularly, like clockwork. They were at 20% kidney function. I had done enough research since our initial conversation a few years earlier, to know that a transplant would be needed soon, and that this was the beginning of the end of a somewhat normal life.

To this day, I have never been asked my recipient, who has requested to remain anonymous, to go through with this. This was something I made very clear. They would never have to ask me. I was going to donate my kidney to them. Without hesitation, I found my recipients doctors details and called to enquire about how I would donate my kidney. And so, my 18-month long journey to live donation began. Months of countless tests and uncertainty about whether I would progress to the next stage, or if my kidney donation journey would end before it began.

During this time, I had tried my best to search for as much information as I could get my hands on. I sat through seminars, reached out to doctors, you name it. I needed information, and I just wasn’t getting it – not easily enough anyway. “If you go to this site, search for this section, click on this tab, and sign up for this you’ll find what you need” I was told. “Oh, and stay healthy and hydrated.” Great information, but not helpful in preparing me for what was ahead.

Majority of the information that I found focused on the experience of the recipient, which it should be. Anyone wanting to become a live donor does so because of the needs a recipient living with chronic kidney disease. But, for the living donor, the information is simply lacking. The real-life experience; the ins and outs of what is ahead; the good, the bad and the ugly is the missing piece in what’s currently available for living donors. Giving the gift of an organ donation, is one of the most important and biggest life events a living donor or potential donor may go through, yet the information about this journey is simply insufficient.

And so, Diary of a Kidney Donor was born.

Diary of a Kidney Donor has been created to show the good and the bad of the pathway to live donation, and to discuss the important topics and questions surrounding this life event. Whilst I am documenting my journey, I hope this platform can help others who are considering following this path.

My name is Ethan, and I invite you to join me on my journey to live donation. I am documenting my entire journey, from work up, through to surgery, recovery and beyond.

I encourage you to share Diary of a Kidney Donor with your friends, family, or anyone that will listen.

Help me, help others along their way to organ donation."

Instagram: @diaryofa_kidneydonor

Facebook: @diaryofakidneydonor