My name is Kim, and I’m 55 years old. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband, Ron, and our three canines: Winnie, Gabbie, and Paws. My pasttimes include playing with our four-footed friends and following college football--especially Ohio State and my daughter's alma mater, Georgia Tech.
My daughter, Megan, means the world to me. Born with congestive heart failure and having lost her father to suicide at the tender age of sixteen months, she has already experienced numerous hardships in her short 23 years. I surely do not want her to lose me as well.
Because Ron was laid off his job two years ago, I am the family breadwinner. I work long hours as a regional director of sales in the hotel industry, but work is becoming more difficult as my disease progresses. The fatigue is overwhelming. Ron continues to search for work but also takes care of everything around the house so that I can come home from work and just rest.
Although I'd had diabetes for over a decade, my doctor and I had been able to keep it under control with appropriate management techniques. I did find myself feeling more fatigued than ususal several years ago, but I chalked it up to a stressful job and aging. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I learned at a routine doctor's appointment in 2010 that I was in late-stage renal failure, most likely brought on by my diabetes. Talk about taking your breath away!
I have not yet begun dialysis, although I have had surgery to create a fistula. (A fistula is a surgically created access that allows one’s blood vessels to withstand the pressure of high blood flow during dialysis.) Because dialysis is very hard on the body and frequently causes other severe health problems, I pray every day that my body will not have to be subjected to this.
I was placed on the waiting list for a deceased-donor kidney in August, 2012. However, because a kidney patient’s best chance for survival is to receive a kidney from a living donor, and the wait for a deceased donor in my area of the country is approximately 5 years, I am seeking a living donor.
Megan underwent testing for donation and passed every one with flying colors until the final test. Sadly, a CT scan revealed kidney stones, making her ineligible to be a donor. Unfortunately, no one else in my family is a suitable donor, either.
I have Type O blood, but because my transplant center, Piedmont Healthcare, participates in paired donation, a person of any blood type can donate. My insurance company covers all transplant-related medical expenses, and you need not be a resident of Georgia to donate. For donors who live far away, programs are available to cover the cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental.
If you would like to be tested to see if you could donate to me, please contact Piedmont’s living-donor coordinator, LeAnne Whitehead, at 404-605-4605. Or, if you prefer, you may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like, you can learn more about me, follow my journey, or contact me personally on my Facebook page, Kim Krumm’s Kidney.
Some days, I feel very alone. I find myself asking daily whether I will live long enough to experience the things I’ve looked forward to for years. Will I be here to rock in the chairs that Ron purchased for our 5th anniversary so we could grow old together? Will I be able to see my bright, beautiful daughter walk down the aisle with the man of her dreams? Will my grandchildren and I have a chance to know one another? I pray that your heart will speak to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for considering giving me the Gift of Life. If you are unable to donate but would like to help, please share my story with others by clicking on the icons below. Thank you.
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On occasion, we have an opportunity to attend a Georgia Tech football game . Go Yellow Jackets!
I am so proud of Megan! Despite getting a rough start in life, she bloomed academically and graduated with honors from Georgia Tech as a chemical engineer.