The last five days have been a whirlwind since we announced on the Kevin & Bean show that I will be donating a kidney to long-time KROQ engineer Scott Mason. Catch up here.
In the days since I have been trying to spread the good word about organ donation, both pre- and post-death, through interviews with the L.A. Times, the Orange County Register, TMZ Live and the Tom Leykis Show.
But it hasn’t been while I have been talking that have made these past few days so exciting and so humbling. It has been what I have been hearing and reading from you, the Kevin & Bean listeners all over the country.
I had never given any thought to becoming a living kidney donor myself until I realized someone in my life needed one. That opened my eyes to the more than 100,000 on organ waiting lists RIGHT NOW, with about 80 percent needing kidneys.
I heard a happy story from Tammy Rusznak of the Socal 2012 Transplant Games, a non-profit that raises awareness about the subject and has formed an awesome local community.
Tammy wrote, “I received a kidney from my sister, Tracy, 26 years ago (July 16, 1986), and it is still functioning great today! I am so fortunate to have a giving sister in my life. My sister was also fortunate to have minimal down time and had no complications from the surgery and is a healthy and active person.”
And a scary story from Tamara Alvarez, writing about how organ donation got on her radar: “Thank you for all you are doing to promote Organ Donation and Kidney disease awareness! I wanted to send you a photo of a little guy you are helping, my son Phoenix, 17 months. He is in end stage renal failure and we are about to start the transplant evaluation process at UCLA. I am hoping I am a match but if not he will go on the registry and need a hero like you to save him! I’m following your story intently, keep the updates coming!”
I am not the hero here. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be healthy and it will barely affect my life in the big picture to go through this surgery. Scott, and so many like him, are the true warriors for showing up for work every day and living their lives despite being dealt such and unfair hand.
Dolores Rogers, “I’ve been a social worker in dialysis for the last 32 years. It’s amazing how my patients find a way to adapt and adjust and live life on dialysis but the opportunity to be transplanted is such a blessing. Dialysis is hard. It compromises every aspect of your life; it’s a struggle to be compliant to the treatment, the diet , the fluid restrictions and maintain a “normal” life. The End Stage Renal Disease community is so large and yet so few people are aware of it. By your donation, you put a face and a voice on the need for organ donation. I wish you and Scott good health and speedy recovery.”
I want to thank the many listeners who are helping. Dan Thomas posted this message on his Facebook page:
As we are in the season of giving, thought I would share a great example. Long-time KROQ 106.7 DJ Bean Baxter has decided to donate one of his kidneys to save the life of one of his co-workers, Scott Mason. Due to his efforts, I decided to sign up to donate my organs upon my passing. If you would like to do the same and save someone’s life, please go to www.organdonors.gov. Thanks for your consideration.”
And listener Matt just blew my mind, “Hi, we listen to your show online everyday at day here and love it! After hearing about your decision to donate a kidney to your friend you’ve actually motivated/inspired me to do the same. I’ve been registered as an organ donor for as long as I can remember, but after hearing your friend tell his story it truly opened my eyes to the problem that a lot people face every day. And its a problem that I can do something about to help. Ive decided to become a living kidney donor. I spoke with my family about it and they are all on-board with my decision and are very supportive. I called the transplant center today at Yale New Haven Hospital and I have an appt Monday to start the screening process. I have given this a lot of thought in the past, but I somehow always just brushed it off. Now is the time to do something about it. I want to thank you for sharing your story. Its pathetic, but you have made me a better person. =) Matt PS – Fire Beermug”
Thank you for as much or as little you are able to do on this issue. If you live in California, make sure your wishes to donate your organs in the event of you death here.
There is so much great information on this website from the National Kidney Foundation including ways to raise money through tax-deductible donations and playing in charity golf tournaments. See, even if you don’t have a kidney to spare, you have five bucks. Thanks to Pier Merone, Division President of the NKF for getting in touch.
That’s all for now. We’ll keep you posted on the air and on KROQ.com in the days to come. Surgery is next Tuesday!
Go be good humans.