As you know back in October of 2017 I received my transplanted kidney from a donor that turned out to be a childhood friend that I hadn't seen in years. My kidney is doing great but I'm not the only member of my family that suffered from Polycystic Kidney Disease. The disease pretty much runs through the entire bloodline of my father's side of the family. Though it's stated that if you have PKD, there's a 50/50 chance your children will receive the disease, in my family a majority of my relatives do have it then not.

My cousin Angela Riddell who lives in Gill, MA is in the same place I was in kidney wise  a couple of years ago. She is currently in Stage 5 of PKD and has only 10% kidney function. She is looking for a donor. She has a few posts on her facebook page that are helpful if you are interested in learning if you are eligible to donate, they include the following (Angela posted this on Mar. 26)

"Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts and sharing my post yesterday. A few questions have come up, so I thought I would share the answers here so that they might be helpful for anybody who needs to know.

1. If someone is interested in finding out if they would be a good donor, I can not call for you. There are privacy regulations in place to protect your privacy. So please call Joyce at 413-794-2321. She is the living donor coordinator. She cares so much about her job and will tell you what the next steps are for you. (Joyce is located at Baystate Medical Center in the 100 Wason Avenue building in Springfield)

2. I’ve been asked what my blood type is. I don’t know yet. I’ll find out very soon. BUT blood type doesn’t necessarily need to be a match anymore because they now have a program called shared kidney exchange. Where if someone is willing to be a donor but they don’t match my blood type, we would get paired with another donor and someone else who needed a kidney and basically your kidney would go to them and I would get the other donors kidney. Technology has come so far!!

3. If you are going to call to find out if you could be a donor, please mention my name.

To summarize, the best course of action would be to call Joyce the live donor coordinator at 413-794-2321. She can answer any questions you might have. Thanks so much."

This is an all too familiar situation and my thoughts and prayers go out to Angela and her family. I truly believe her kidney will come soon. Keep the faith.

(Article image: Angela has the sunglasses on her head) 

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