How can I donate a kidney to my mom?

I am 16 years old. When I turn 18, I would like to donate a kidney to my mother. She is a renal patient, going through dialysis treatment due to the fact she has no working kidney. She insists that I do not donate my kidney to her and to keep it. However, her life is at stake, and I want to help her out. What should I do?

  1. Nah Z, 21 February, 2011

    Since you are half your mother and half your father, it is unlikely you will be able to donate to her even if you want to. Siblings have a good chance of being compatible donors, but parents and their children usually are not.

    Even if you were a match, which is unlikely, you have to consider that your mother’s renal disease may be genetic. If this is the case, they will not allow you to donate because it would be an unacceptable risk to both of you.

    Furthermore, even if you were a match and even if the renal failure is definitely not genetic, your mother might not be at the point in life where she wants or needs a kidney transplant. Transplantation has many, many risks, and the benefits are sometimes murky for dialysis patients, especially those that are doing well on dialysis. Kidney transplantation just might not be the best choice for her.

    When you turn 18, talk to her about it. Discuss your fears about her wellbeing and ask about where she’s at in terms of considering transplantation. Until then, don’t worry about it.

  2. C Brass, 21 February, 2011

    My sister is going to give me a kidney. I’m terrified for what may happen, but after several information sessions with my medical team, and a lot of research, I know that with today’s medical technology, she and I are going to be just fine.
    It’s the most precious thing that one person can do for another.
    Ask your mom to attend some information sessions with you.
    Go with her to her medical appointments. Talk to her doctor.
    They will be honest and forthcoming with both of you regarding risks and procedures.
    A person can live a normal life with only one kidney. If you are healthy and active, there is no need to think that you are going to need another kidney in the future.
    In countries like India, people can sell their kidney. There are thousands of people in those countries walking around with only one kidney.
    Go through this together. Talk to her medical team together, research the internet together, and speak to a member of the clergy together.
    Let her know that you two have been in life together for 16 years now, and the transplant is only just the next step in your lives.
    Tell her that you’ll be going through this process together whether she receives a kidney from you or not.
    Whether or not you become her donor, you can still help her to get through this period of her life.
    At the end of the day, it helps just to have someone supportive there.
    Good Luck with everything.

  3. House825, 21 February, 2011

    You cannot force your mother to accept you as a living donor. Doctors and medical center staff cannot go against her wishes either.

    However, I wish your mother would consider this. There are a whole lot of people waiting for kidneys. A lot of them (like myself) do not have family members/friends who can be tested as donors, or who have been tested but aren’t matches. I think it is a bit selfish of people waiting for organs who refuse to let their family members be donors. They could be letting the organs of deceased donors go to people who have no other options. People with family members who are willing to be donors should let them be tested and do the transplant if they are a match!! Living donation usually has better results thaen cadaver donation.

    Tell her you want her to be around and healthy to help you when you’re older and have your own family. You can also ask her – if you were the patient in need of a kidney, would she be okay if someone wanted to be YOUR living donor? Or would she make you stay on dialysis forever?

    There’s really very little to fear from a living kidney transplant. You will go through a lot of tests to make sure you are healthy enough to be a donor. I’ve included a link about living donation.

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