Kidney Donor Conversations (KDC) Coronavirus Update: A Message from Amanda and Glenna, Co-Executive Directors
What is happening with KDC right now?
Glenna is a nurse and continues to work part-time at ProMedica Cancer Institute. She wears masks and other protective equipment in her Healing Care role, helping people cope with cancer using aromatherapy, guided imagery, relaxation breathing, and Healing Touch. She is very cautious when leaving home because her husband (Amanda’s father) has a kidney transplant and the medications he is on makes him a high risk for getting infections.
The rest of Glenna’s time is spent working at her home office with KDC. We are no longer going to community events or providing in-person presentations. This past month she converted one of our living kidney donor presentations (Saving A Life: What They Didn’t Teach Me In School”) to a voice-over PowerPoint for Lourdes University nursing students so they can view this online.
Amanda lives in Michigan and is doing more online counseling from her office at Kalamazoo Psychology, helping people cope with their family, marriage, and their new life with Coronavirus.
Our weekly KDC meetings continue as they always have, using Google Hangouts.
How are those we serve being impacted?
If you are a living kidney donor, your risk of getting COVID-19 is considered the same as the general population.
Most transplant centers are not doing transplant surgeries and the percent of kidney transplants are down (see image above from National Kidney Registry). That means deceased donors are not providing organs for people on the transplant waiting list. They are typically on ventilators and those are now needed for people very sick with Coronavirus in Intensive Care Units. Because hospitals will not take organs from possible deceased donors, there are missed opportunities for people to receive healthy organ transplants.
Unfortunately, those on the transplant waiting list will have to wait even longer to receive a kidney . . . and many will die waiting.
What about living donor kidney transplants? Those surgeries are also not taking place. Most centers have put a hold on working up living kidney donors for now. We have a great opportunity to discover potential living donors during this time so that when restrictions are lifted, we can help those on the kidney transplant waiting list! Keep reading to find out how.
What are we focused on in the short term?
We continue to provide education through blog posts and videos that you can find on our website at www.MyKDC.org and Facebook.
We are expanding our living kidney donor presentations to an online format, so if you are interested in a webinar for remote group meetings, family, or friends, let us know.
We continue to provide one to one telephone support for anyone curious about living kidney donation, if you have questions, or are feeling alone in the donation process and would like to talk.
What 2 things can you do now from your home to help?
- If you would like to know if you might be healthy enough to donate a kidney, you can answer simple online questions from your home. Go to www.MyKDC.org home page and select “Click and see if you can be a kidney donor”. The more people that complete this survey, the more people we can help on the transplant waiting list and give them hope for a healthy kidney in the future …
- Share information about Living Kidney Donation with your family and friends to help us discover more living kidney donors!
Contact us a www.MyKDC.org. We are here for you. Stay healthy.
Would you like more information about Living Kidney Donation, contact us at info@MyKDC.org
Want to keep current on living kidney donation? Sign up for our monthly emails HERE.
Glenna Frey, APRN-CNS, is a nephrology nurse who donated her kidney in April 2017 to a stranger.
Amanda Frey, M.A., LMFT, LPC, is a Marriage & Family Therapist living with kidney disease.
Together, they co-founded Kidney Donor Conversations in 2018 to provide education about Living Kidney Donation.