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IF YOU HAVE NEVER READ A SINGLE WORD I’VE POSTED OR VIEWED ONE PICTURE ON MY PAGE, PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS POST. IT IS LONG, BUT THERE IS NO WAY TO PARAPHRASE WHAT’S HAPPENED IN OUR LIVES AND OUR DESPERATE NEED. To some of our family and most of our friends, this will come as a shock. Yes, RALEIGH NEEDS A KIDNEY. Since the age of 34, he has fought like a warrior against diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease. His commitment to regular exercise, diet management requiring constant measuring of food contents, keeping regular doctor’s appointments and taking all medications as prescribed has allowed him to avoid what he feared most…until now. At the age of 49, despite all that he’s done to break the cycle, genetics have reared their ugly head and taken over his body, nearly completely. His kidneys are functioning at only 10% which has made him anemic to the point of requiring weekly injections to stimulate red blood cell production. He will most likely begin dialysis within the next 30 days, depending on how soon his port can be placed and how long it takes the port site to heal for daily use. He has opted to dialyze through PD (Peritoneal Dialysis). PD differs from the most common dialysis method (hemodialysis) because his port will filter waste from his abdomen rather than his blood stream. He will connect to a machine each night, allowing specially-compounded fluids to attract and trap waste, then drain the waste into a drainage bag, all while he sleeps. He chose this form of dialysis in hopes of continuing to be able to work full-time to provide for our family. I hope and pray that this post is shared time and time again and is read by someone who is a match for my husband. To those who may not know our family, Raleigh has served his community as a police officer and investigator for 24 years. We have been married for 10 years, and he is my rock, even through this toughest part of our marriage. He is the father of a 19 year old son and two daughters, ages 4 and 2. I am amazed at what he’s managed to continue to do while his kidneys have been failing badly. He has continued to work full time as well as work side jobs. He’s completely involved in parenting our children, housework, outings with our girls, and everything else that comes along with being a full time working parent to two young children. I work full time in the health industry and am enrolled in school full time. In August, I will begin taking my final course requirement before applying to an RN program. THE LAST THING EITHER OF US WANTED WAS FOR RALEIGH TO HAVE TO DEPEND ON A MACHINE TO CLEANSE HIS BLOOD WHILE COMPETING AMONGST TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FOR A KIDNEY. ** How does this affect our family? Just to name a few… Raleigh is at an increased risk of developing a hernia if he lifts more than 20 pounds. Our girls weigh 30 and 42 pounds, so plane rides and air tosses will have to wait until… Raleigh will miss at least one, possibly two weeks of work as he heals from the port placement. Once healed, his connection time to fill, collect and drain can’t be predicted. His sleep and work hours may need to be adjusted. Due to the increased risk of infection, bathing, even in his own tub, swimming and excessive sweating must be avoided to lessen the risk of infection which could set the stage for peritonitis, an infection at his port site that extends to outer areas. When traveling, we’ll have to plan to accommodate his dialyzing equipment, which includes bags of fluid, so we’ll probably need to take short trips. ** What can you do to help? First, and foremost, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP OUR FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS!!!!! For those who wish to take part in trying to save Raleigh’s quality of life by finding a compatible kidney, please get tested to see if YOU are the donor match he needs. The initial testing consists of a simple blood test. Emory has assured us that they try their best to accommodate potential donors by allowing their initial testing to be done at a hospital or lab close to the donor. Those of you willing to give the gift of life have questions, I’m sure, and I’ll try to answer a few of them here. —-What if I don’t know my blood type? It’s okay! Raleigh’s blood type is AB+ and is considered the universal recipient, meaning he can accept blood from anybody. The key factor when determining compatibility is the reactivity of Raleigh’s antibodies to the potential donor’s antibodies. A simple blood test can provide this information. —-What if I don’t have insurance to cover the testing and surgery if I am a match? It’s okay! For any potential donor without insurance, Raleigh’s insurance will pay for testing of all potential donors as well as surgery if you are the match we’re praying to find. For those with insurance, you may or may not have “donor benefits”. If you don’t, again, Raleigh’s insurance will cover all expenses. If you do have donor benefits, Raleigh’s insurance will pay any fees your insurance doesn’t cover. —-What is the recovery time if I am a match and donate my kidney? The donor’s recovery time is much less than Raleigh’s – typically 3-7 days. Raleigh’s recovery time will be 8-12 weeks after receiving a transplant. —-Will I be reimbursed for travel, lodging and time missed from work if I donate my kidney? Not through Raleigh’s insurance, but there is a fund to cover these expenses. —-Will my one remaining kidney be able to function as two? Yes! Most donors’ remaining kidney actually grows slightly in order to take over the full role. The kidney function of donors pre-donation compared to post-donation is generally the same or very close to. Some of you may have additional questions, and I’d be glad to give, find out or lead you to the answers. My plea to each person reading this is: If it is in your heart to possibly give the gift of life, please message me on Facebook or email me at email@example.com. I will provide you with the phone number to Emory’s donation center as well as Raleigh’s identifiable information, which you’ll need when calling to register as a potential donor. The wait time for a deceased donor is 3-5 years, and the life span of the donated kidney is often years less than a kidney received from a living. The wait time for a kidney from a living donor can be as short as 6-8 months, and a living donor kidney generally functions well for up to 20+ years! Our girls adore their Daddy as if he hung the sun, moon and stars. Our girls deserve to have their father walk them down the aisle, and he can’t bear the thought of not seeing them on their wedding day. A new kidney would give him the life and time needed to witness the birth of our grandchildren. One person, just one person, could change our entire family’s lives forever. Please, if you’re willing to find out if you’re the one who could be a match, reach out to me. God bless each person who took the time to read this. Please share with your friends, so we can reach as many potential donors as possible! The number to call Emory Transplant is 855-366-7989. Let them know you’d like to be tested as a donor match for Raleigh Callaway. His dob is 3/5/65. They prefer the donor call them so they know the donor isn’t being pressured. Thank you so very much!
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