A Fall River woman is desperately looking for a kidney to save her life. This is her story in her own words.
My name is Cheryl Lynn Doucet. I am a 59-1/2-year-old single female living in Fall River, MA
I am actively and urgently seeking an amazing person to be my kidney donor.
Up until this point in my life, I was a healthy and vibrant retail store manager working days, nights, weekends and yes … Holidays. It wasn’t uncommon to work 14-hour days, sometimes 3-4 days per week and I loved my line of work. That needed to change when my Brother was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, brought on by long term medications. I left the world of Management after a 35-year successful career to be closer to home to help care for my Brother. I accepted a position as a full-time sales associate helping customers choose products for both kitchen and bathroom fixtures. For the next 4 years my Brother and I became a powerful team and doubled his earlier prognosis of 2 years.
After his passing in December 2017, I put my home on the market looking for a fresh start and by mid-September, 2018, I moved into my new home. By the middle of October, I felt tired all the time but attributed it to the whirlwind events of the past few months. On Sunday October 28th I drove myself to the Hospital which is where I remained for the next 2 weeks.
My diagnosis is a rare Auto-immune disease known as Anti-GBM or Good Pastor Disease. So rare in fact that it affects 1-2 people per million. And in the blink of an eye, I was receiving hemodialysis 4 hours per day and 3 times per week. I spent one week at Mass General under the care of Dr. John Niles, a world-renowned specialist of this disease. Despite all attempts, my kidneys had failed and my status escalated to stage 5 – “end-stage renal failure”.
Hemodialysis proved to be very taxing on my heart so I have recently switched to dialysis at home. My machine aptly named “Hope” runs for 9 hours every day of the week and exchanges fluids, the equivalent of (6) – 2-liter bottles. My only hope at this point is a kidney transplant and I am very grateful to have been chosen for the transplant list at Mass General Hospital (MGH).
FACT: A living donor offers the best chance for survival. There are numerous advantages of receiving a kidney from a living donor rather than one from a deceased donor. For instance, a living-donor kidney is nearly always healthier, and generally lasts about 20 years, as opposed to 10 years for a kidney from a deceased donor. The average wait time can be as long as 8-10 years. FACT: You do NOT need to be a perfect match to donate. FACT: We are born with an extra kidney. Studies show that donors live a normal, healthy life with only one kidney and are no more likely to suffer kidney failure. FACT: And the reward is very powerful. Besides the temporary sainthood, you get a tangible reminder (in the form of a small scar) that we humans come equipped with the means to affect the lives of those we love in so many ways.
Organ donors need to be in good health, without high blood pressure, kidney, heart, liver or other major health issues. For more details on donor qualifications go to: http://www.lkdn.org/who_can_be_living_donor.html
What are the “rippling effects”?: https://youtu.be/nhht9kslq04
If you would like to learn more about the donation process please visit: www.MGHLivingDonors.org
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you are unable to donate but would like to help, please share this with friends, family, and co-workers.