Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Dairy Queen Gene

It has been over a week since we visited UW for Lonnie's evaluation.  Today I sent an e-mail to Chris to see if they had heard anything back on our bloodwork, even though I thought it might be a bit premature.  She said it was funny I e-mailed because the lab had just called her regarding us.  She relayed that the antigen match was fine -- we matched 1 out of 6 antigens and that is not a problem.  (On a side note, Froedtert tested for 8 antigens and we matched 2 -- Dr. Mezrich explained to me that some places test more antigens, but only 6 are truly important).  The only concern on our bloodwork was that Lonnie's blood did not seem to like one of my genetic markers, specifically DQ7.  I can only assume this is the Dairy Queen marker, although I cannot for the life of me figure out why he would not like that!  So anyway, the lab now needs to place a "value" on the dislike.  If he only dislikes my DQ by a little, then it will not be a problem.  But if he dislikes my DQ by a lot then we will need to sit down and talk with UW on how to proceed.  There is a procedure which can be done called plasmapheresis.  In this procedure a machine filters blood and removes the antibodies that react against genetic markers.  At the precise time they feel the antibodies are adequately removed, the transplant can be performed.  The entire process is called desensitization.  Desensitizing Lonnie's blood would make it much less likely that his body would reject my kidney.  Interestingly enough, this process can only be done on recipients with a living donor as the timing has to be precise -- something that would be nearly impossible with a wait-list donor.  Chris did say though that we will not even know if this is a concern until we get the final lab report.  Hopefully that will be by early next week.  On Monday the surgeons are slated to meet to approve Lonnie as a recipient.  They will need cardiac clearance from his cardiologist first though, which still has not come through.  Assuming they approve him they will then need to meet on Tuesday to discuss our antibodies -- and see if Lonnie decides to like DQ! 

It seems like we spend a LOT of time WAITING!  But Chris from UW has been just incredibly great at keeping us up to date on what is happening, so at least we know where we stand.  That makes the waiting much more bearable.

On a wonderful side note, Zeke was released from Mayo today -- three weeks after receiving "Chloe", his new kidney from Sarah.  He is doing great and the surgeon says he could not have hand-picked a better kidney for him!  Sarah returned to work this week as well and continues to recover nicely!

Stay tuned....I have an exciting opportunity for you all to help out in a small, but significant way in the near future....I will post more in the next couple of days!


  1. Hey Jill!! HANG IN THERE!! I'm sure this waiting and jumping through all the hoops isn't easy, but I know for sure that one way or another, IT WILL WORK OUT for you and Lonnie! What's interesting is why Froedert didn't have issue with the DQ gene, and had even scheduled a surgery date for the two of you. NOT GOOD!! It really seems like you are in much better hands at the UW! Take care, and just know we are praying, praying, and praying! :)


  2. lol - dairy queen gene - how fitting that I ran into you there last week!! Guess I'll have to take a pc of that ice cream cake I bought over to Lonnie to help desensitize him . . .ok, seriously, praying for you both every day!