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Share my story

I am deeply grateful to
with you about my kidney disease...

I knew I had a chance to live a full life if I could get a live donor donation. 

So I began the search to look for someone who would consider donating a kidney to save my life.

Over time, my kidney disease had gotten worse causing my kidneys not to work well enough to keep me alive. Treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. Getting regular dialysis treatments, usually three times a week for four hours at a time, would 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, and 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 and making music.


However, finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. I was on the kidney transplant waiting list for a deceased donor kidney along with 100,000+ people. Time was not on my 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.

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My beautiful wife, Cheryl, gladly volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to me.  Even though she didn’t match my blood type, she was willing to donate to the Paired Kidney Exchange Program so that I could get a kidney that did match.  Unfortunately, after her evaluation and tests, she was not a good candidate for a kidney donation.  Her kidneys work fine for her, but not enough to give one away.  I rarely ask for help from anyone, but realized that I had to begin asking family members and friends to consider donating a kidney to me.

It was hard for me to do, but it greatly improved my chances of getting a transplant.

You might not know a lot about living donation - I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my life. I learned that a living kidney donation typically lasts longer and has better function.  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 about 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.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If donating a kidney is something you would like to consider, I would be happy to tell you more about my story and explore the process of determining if you are good candidate for a living donation.

I know living donation may not be right for everyone — but you can still help by considering being an organ donor after death.  Please share my story with everyone you know. At the very least, I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation.  I remained hopeful and was fortunate to receive a kidney. I encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list. There’s no better gift than the gift of life. Click on each category above on the menu to see the videos and learn more about    living kidney donation and check out News & Updates to see my story on the News about my surgery!  


Thank you,

Alvin and Cheryl Fisher

“The idea is not to live forever…

But maybe to help another live a little longer…”

- Unknown

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