Chris called today at 5:00. The committee that reviews the genetic markers and blood testing met at 3:00 today to discuss our case. The lab has been spending time doing extensive testing on the DQ7 genetic marker of mine which seemed to be incompatible with Lonnie's antibodies. After reviewing all of the results, along with our case, UW has decided that it would just be too risky to transplant my kidney into Lonnie. The risk of rejection is too high and Chris says that rejection in Lonnie, due to his age and vascular issues, could be a disaster. They have also decided that the desensitization process in him would also be just too dangerous. That was devastating news for me to hear, but I am so thankful that UW does this extensive testing. As I said before, other hospitals do not test for this and rejection would be almost certain if they moved forward.
So...what does this mean for Lonnie? Well, all it truly means is that he cannot have MY kidney. It does NOT, however, preclude him from receiving any other kidney that might be available. There is still the option of another living donor and he will also stay on the list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. And the good news is that he has already built up quite a bit of time on that list as UW never dropped him when he originally was transferred to Froedtert. In fact, he has almost 2 years of time built up. That is good news as the average wait time is between 2 and 3 years on the list. The other option is a process that is called paired donation. This means that if another donor/recipient pair were to be rejected they can compare our bloodwork with theirs. If a match was found, I could then donate to that recipient and their donor could give to Lonnie! Amazing, isn't it? I had to decide whether to consent to this today, which I certainly did. Chris told me that finding those people is sort of like finding a needle in a haystack, but it certainly does happen.
On a happier note, the bracelets we have for sale are flying out of our hands. We have raised quite a bit of money so far and will continue to do so. Lonnie will still need a transplant and the expenses will still add up. Now more than ever the phrase on the bracelet, "Hope For Lonnie", is certainly true.
A sad time indeed, but it still is not the end of the road! Lonnie and his family will never leave my life and I will never leave theirs. We have a bond that cannot be broken. And if a paired donor situation should arise that UW determines will be good for us -- I will be there! And if Lonnie ends up with a transplant from a deceased donor -- I will be there cheering him on! I just ask you to pray for Lonnie and Ginger tonight and for their whole family. He is the one who is sick -- not me -- and our goal is get him well soon so he can enjoy life the way it is meant to be enjoyed!
And to Lonnie and Ginger -- "Never stop believing, hoping, and praying. That is what has brought us this far. I love ya!!"