Some of you may know that I, Kyle Cobb, Editor of Joy105 Digital Magazine have been afflicted by kidney disease. I have been battling degenerate dysplasia since the age of 12 years old. Over time, my kidney disease has gotten worse causing my kidneys not to work well enough to keep me alive. This is what I am facing now, and my treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant.
Over the past year, I have been enduring dialysis treatments three times a week for six hours a treatment. Determined to never be stopped I have continued to attend Morehouse College, even through my arduous and dynamic health journey. There have been times when my circumstances made me want to give up and stop pursuing my dreams. However, with a strong support system from my family, Joy105 Digital Magazine, and God I have navigated this journey. In 2018, I plan to graduate with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and an English minor. As well as continue to pursue my passion of law and journalism.
Getting regular dialysis treatments, usually three times a week for four hours at a time, will help my kidneys do their job and keep me alive, but a transplant would offer me more freedom and the ability to live a longer, healthier, more normal life. A transplant would also give me more time to do the fun things I enjoy most, like spending time with my family and friends.
However, finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. Just ask the 100,000+ people on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney like me. Time is not on our side. Some wait for years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is five years or more for a kidney from a deceased donor. However, there is another option: receiving a kidney from a living donor.
Asking a relative or a companion to consider giving a kidney to me is troublesome, yet it enormously enhances my odds of getting a transplant. A living kidney gift normally keeps going longer and has better capacity. You might not know a lot about living donation – I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my life. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them. Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:
- You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
- Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
- The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks.
- The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance. The hospital can give you extensive information on this.
- You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.
I have been searching endlessly for the past year in order to try to secure a potential life saving donor. Yesterday, as I sat in the sanctuary in observance of National Day of Prayer, I proclaimed that I would be receiving a kidney transplant within the next week. By the time the service concluded, I received a text from my mother saying that Emory University Hospital had accepted someone to be a living donor for my kidney transplant. Look at God!
While this is a great accomplishment and I am extremely blessed, we still have a long way to go. I have to undergo major surgery in order to receive the transplant, which will be my second. Then, I will be on the road to recovery for six weeks. I will have to put my studies on pause to fully recover. I am optimistically cautious as I embark on my second kidney transplant. I am overtaken with every emotion possible. Feelings of fear, anxiety, happiness, and excitement all co-exist in my spirit at once. What gets me past that is God’s promise that he did not bring me this far to leave me. My chief goal is to be an inspiration and source of motivation to anyone going through a trial or tribulation. You can overcome!
Below is a recap of the events that took place on #NationalDayofPrayer:
Featured Image: SSMG/Hakim Wilson
Inset Image: SSMG/Hakim Wilson