I'm very fortunate that my sister-in-law, Carla, is determined to donate a kidney. Her husband, my brother, Todd, received a kidney from Carla's sister's husband so Carla has seen first hand how such an act can benefit someone. She very much wants to give back and since I am the next in line in our family to need a kidney, she has volunteered to donate to me. It's difficult to know how to feel about that. Of course, I am deeply appreciative and thankful for her willingness to donate, but it's also difficult to wrap your head around someone making such a great gesture on my behalf. One very nice thing is that Carla has been through this and knows what is involved. No matter what happens, I can never thank Carla for her willingness to get tested and donate if she is a match.
It's interesting, and quite smart, that the Swedish transplant center has a completely separate team for prospective donors. A prospective donor has to reach out to the transplant center and tell them that they would like to donate to me. From there a team that is dedicated to working with potential donors will work the potential donor through the process. My transplant team will not know what is happening with a potential donor, nor will I. Any information I receive will be through Carla.
Carla has been through the first stage of screening to donate. She answered a medical history and questionnaire and it seems that she passed it with flying colors. She is going to undertake the second stage of testing in the next few days. The second stage is the big one as it is a series of blood and urine tests - and with these tests we will know whether Carla is a match for me or not. It should be a fairly quick process; we should know whether she is a viable donor, and a match to me, within about a week of her completing her tests. She can have all of the tests run in her local lab and send the specimens to the local transplant center.
So, we'll see what happens.