Alain Roy, 53, started 2021 with a tough diagnosis.
Roy has kidney disease and is now in stage five. He needs a new kidney. His wife covered every street corner with signs to help find him a donor. “We got like 30 or so out toward the Burlington, Bristol and Montpelier area,” Roy said.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant list. Roy was told it would take five to eight years to find a donor. Without one, he will have to start dialysis by winter.
“My wife is going to be doing the dialysis for me, at home,” Roy said. “So we are going to do home dialysis, instead of going to the facility three time a week.”
Dr. Marios Prikis, Medical Director of Kidney Transplant and Transplant Programs at University of Vermont Medical Center said there are up to 70 people actively on a list for a kidney.
“To receive a kidney transplantation it varies from up to two to ten years,” Dr. Prikis said. “If someone has only one kidney the other one compensates and tries to do the work that the other kidney is supposed to be doing. And then someone can live a good life.”
Dr. Michael Daily, Chief of Transplant Surgery at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center said the difference in wait times is going to be in donors who are alive.
“People who have two kidneys that are very healthy, that have good kidney function and would be willing to donate a kidney,” Dr. Daily said. “And we know that kidney transplant outcomes are better with these live donor kidneys.”
Alan Roy wants to remind people the importance of being an organ donor. “Share your kidney, everybody can live with just one, and if you feel healthy enough, please help,” Roy said.
You can find out how to become a donor here.