An Open Letter to Save
Who Am I?
My name is Carole Bonhomme, and I need a kidney to live. A driving force in my life has always been improvement. I work to improve myself and I enjoy helping people become their best selves. I help others advocate for themselves in writing resumes, letters and applications. I also assist with career consulting and give personal image advice. I’ve always helped others, but now I need assistance myself.
My interests center around helping other people. I practice interior design, including feng shui. I am a certified hypnotherapist helping others to deal with the stresses of life. And I use color analysis in the selection of home and commercial decor as well as personal wardrobes. That has come in handy in connection with my volunteer work helping to cloth families working toward gainful employment and self-reliance.
How I Help Others
When I was well, I volunteered at Image for Success (now known as Bloom Marin), a non-profit organization that provides complimentary wardrobes to women, men and children who are transitioning to a life of self-reliance. Clients were low income and often working poor. They came from substance abuse programs, or were homeless or jobless and often victims of spousal abuse. Image for Success provided employment-appropriate clothes.
What Happened to Me
I have Polycystic Kidney Disease, an inherited disorder that slowly destroyed my kidneys. After years of careful dietary practice, I have had to resort to dialysis to stay alive. But dialysis is not a permanent solution. Only a kidney transplant can save my life, restore my health and give me a normal life.
How a Kidney Transplant Will Affect My Life
A kidney transplant will enable me to continue my work helping others, particularly my sister, who also needs a kidney transplant. I also want to counsel other kidney patients in order to help them to find hope as well as a living donor.
How to Help Me
Persons interested in speaking with a living person about donating on my behalf can reach out via https://www.nkdo.org/considering-kidney-donation.
Kidney Donation Basics
A kidney transplant will restore my health and will allow me to live a normal life again. A kidney transplant will enable me to live a long healthy life and continue helping others.
Most people have two healthy kidneys but can live a normal active life with only one. For that reason, kidney transplants have become routine in saving lives of people with kidney disease. Kidney donors typically spend two days in the hospital and soon resume normal activities.
About Kidney Donation
You do not need to be a match in order to donate a kidney for me. In fact, a direct donation likely would not be an optimal match for me. But, if you are healthy and eligible to donate, you could donate a kidney that would go to another person for whom you are a better match while giving me a “voucher” for a living kidney to be donated by someone else whose kidney would be a better match me (like a trade that benefits two or more kidney patients – each patient would receive a more optimally matched kidney). The National Kidney Registry has facilitated more than 5,000 such matching transplants.
Your voucher would be activated upon your donation. I would be prioritized to receive a living kidney in an upcoming transplant chain, typically within twelve weeks after your donation.
And, since each voucher donor starts a unique “kidney transplant chain,” I would receive a well-matched kidney, and your kidney would initiate a linked chain of compatible best-matching kidney transplants enabling two or three additional kidney patients to receive their own kidney transplants. You can read more about voucher donation here: https://www.kidneyregistry.org/for-centers/voucher-program/
For convenience you could donate near your home at one of about 100 kidney transplant centers nationwide affiliated with the National Kidney Registry. To find a transplant center near you, see this list: https://www.kidneytransplantcenters.org/
And, as a voucher donor, you would be entitled to the Donor Shield suite of protections not available elsewhere. Those protections are described here: https://www.donor-shield.org/
I am working with the National Kidney Donation Organization to find a donor (NKDO is a not-for-profit organization assisting kidney donors and recipients, online at NKDO.org). To talk with a living kidney donor, please contact EJ Tamez at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would consider becoming a donor to save my life and the lives of others, please visit: https://nkr.donorscreen.org/register/now?src=nkdo
You Can Help Me Just by Sharing My Story
Even if you don't want to be or cannot be a kidney donor, you probably know someone who might be interested. You can help me by sharing my story on social media and by email.
Just by sharing my story you will help to save my life. Sharing would be like throwing a life preserver into the water to save me from drowning.
Sharing the link for this webpage is the same thing. The more people who know of my need, the better my chance to reach a person willing to save my life by being a kidney donor.
Reasonable cost reimbursement is legal. Title III of The National Organ Transplant Act, 1984, Pub. L. 998-507, allows for reasonable payments associated with the removal, transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, and storage of human organs as well as the expenses of travel, housing, and lost wages incurred by the donor of a human organ in connection with the donation of that organ. While reimbursement of expenses is legal, payment for the acquisition of an organ is not. In addition, the kidney recipient’s medical insurance usually covers the donor’s and the recipient’s costs of medical care and hospitalization.
Donors donating through the National Kidney Registry as Non-Directed Donors receive Donor Shield Protections. To learn about Donor Shield Protections please watch: https://youtu.be/MIXMp4PymMI and read https://www.donor-shield.org/ .
The National Kidney Registry (NKR) offers Donor Shield protections to all donors who participate in an NKR swap or donate at a Donor Shield Center. Those protections include:
Lost Wage Reimbursement
Travel and Lodging Reimbursement
Donation Life Insurance
Donation Disability Insurance
Coverage for Uncovered Complications
Reimbursement for Travel, Lodging and Lost Wages for Uncovered Complications
Living Donor Kidney Prioritization if they ever need a kidney themselves.
Read about Financial and Insurance Issues at https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors/financial-insurance-issues.