Kidney-Pancreas Transplant: Mike's Story
My story started with kidney failure, after living with Type 1 diabetes for 35 years.
When I learned my kidneys were failing, my worst nightmare came true. My best option was to find someone who could donate a kidney to me. I was lucky to have two brothers who were matches, but my brothers needed to lose weight before undergoing surgery.
While I waited for their health to improve, I worked to improve my health, and used a very restricted diet, to avoid dialysis.
Then, one day while I was talking to a transplant coordinator, she told me that because of my type 1 diabetes, I might be able to change from the kidney waiting list to the kidney/pancreas waiting list. If I did this, I would be much higher on the waitlist because of my blood type.
After another evaluation, I was able to change my status, and within 31 days, I received a kidney and pancreas transplant from a deceased donor.
I am so grateful. I follow all the instructions I am given to a "T." I tell my organs I love them every day and will take great care of them, because without them, things would be much different.
Whenever I am at University Hospital, I look at the donor wall and thank all those people for giving life to someone.