Woman awaiting kidney transplant shares importance of organ donation

March 14 is world kidney day, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. It's also a day to promote organ donation.

Posted: Mar. 14, 2019 11:34 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) —March 14 is world kidney day, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. It's also a day to promote organ donation.

Cathy Coller has a rare kidney disorder called fanconi syndrome. She's been on the transplant list for two years. Every other day she deals with the grueling process of dialysis. 

Some days are tough, but Coller said without the needles, tubes and machine, her life would be much different. 

"I'd be in bed waiting for a kidney or to die," she said. "I do this every other day and I have to do it about 2 hours and 48 minutes now, your life revolves around dialysis."

She does it all while waiting for a call that will hopefully change her life. 

"It is very nerve racking to wait for that call, you're like ok is today the day that phone call comes." 

According to the national kidney foundation, 13 people die each day waiting for a kidney transplant. There are more than 121,000 people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants in the U.S.

Of those, about 100,000 await kidney transplants. That list is growing with more than 3,000 new patients added each month.

"I want a kidney but I never want to pressure anyone to donate a kidney because that is a big step," said Coller. 

However, she does want to ease people's minds. Coller said the testing process for organ donation isn't hard, it just requires a little lab work.

If the person is healthy and chooses to move forward, the surgery is much less invasive for the donor than the recipient. Another grueling process, but one Coller is ready for.

"It's nerve racking and scary but after you recover you know you have a better life."

Below are a few places to learn more about kidney donation: 

https://stvincent.donorscreen.org

https://iuhealth.org/find-medical-services/living-kidney-donation

https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors

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