Living Kidney Donation Stories: Andy and Jill Dietz

Here at Donor Appreciation Network, we love to hear from living kidney donors that we have reached through distributing donor celebration boxes at Indiana University Hospital! We invite these donors to share their stories and today we would love to share an interview from Andy and Jill Dietz from Fishers, Indiana! Their story is unique in that Andy donated in the advanced paired donation program before his wife Jill needed a kidney. This ensures that when Jill is ready, she will receive a living kidney transplant. Stories like Anthony and Jill's reiterate the fact that living kidney donors and kidney patients alike are heroes and deserve much praise and respect!

 

Name:  Andy Dietz (living kidney donor)

Age:   54

City:  Fishers, Indiana

Date of donation:   December 6, 2017

 

1.       Who did you donate to? 

Wife - Jill

2.       What made you willing to be a living kidney donor?

My wife was in need of a kidney and I had a spare.

3.       What was the matching/donation process like? 

Very thorough and in depth medical questions and procedures.  Some tests included are:  lab work, EKG, chest x-rays, stress test, ultra sound and kidney tests and psychological screening. 

4.       What was recovery from the surgery like? 

I was in great shape to begin with, so for me it wasn’t that difficult.  I was walking again, then running again in 2 weeks.  I went to work after a month.  I do tire out easily and require a nap every day, but that’s to be expected until my body recovers and begins to function well with just one kidney. 

5.       What would you tell a potential living kidney donor that was on the fence about donating?

My physical health has not changed since donation, but my mental health has improved, because it has given me a great sense of joy to be able to help someone you love and could be someone you don’t even know.   To save someone’s life is a miracle you just can’t explain or understand, until you’ve gone through this process. 

6.       Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or your donation? 

I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had more kidneys to give.

 

Name:  Jill Dietz (kidney patient)

Age:  53

City:  Fishers, Indiana

 

1.       Why do you need a kidney transplant? 

I’ve been diabetic for 43 years.  My kidneys failed 14 years ago and I had a transplant then.  4 years ago, this kidney began to fail and my husband decided to donate to me then.  Over the years, I developed an antibody from my first transplant that precluded Andy from giving directly to me.  We then got involved in the Advanced Paired Donation program so that he could ‘bank’ a kidney for me.  I will then get one from this pool of other donors when I’m ready for transplant.

2.       How has the donation impacted you? 

Words cannot even begin to express how this has impacted me!  How do you thank someone for giving you the gift of life?  There are a lot of emotions that go along with this -gratitude, love, thankfulness, guilt, am I worthy of this?, along with incredible awe.  It truly is the gift of a lifetime! 

3.       What message do you have for living kidney donors? 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  The wait on the cadaver list is between 3-5 years.  The wait in this pool is around 3 months.  My life will be saved, because of my husband’s loving gift, and loving gesture, in 3 months rather than 3 years and by doing this, we hope to save me from dialysis. 

4.       Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or your kidney journey?

  People are having a rough time understanding how my husband could give his kidney to a stranger and how that helps me.  They mistakenly think that this bumps me up on the cadaver waiting list.  It does not.  They are completely separate lists.  By being in the Advanced Paired Donation Program, I will get my kidney from that pool, not the cadaver list.  With this program, you have to have someone step forward to donate on your behalf. It could be a direct donation or it could go to a stranger.  They don’t have to match you.  It could be a relative, a co-worker, a person you know from church, a Facebook friend, whatever.  If they are willing to give their spare kidney into this program, in the recipient’s name, then when the recipient needs a transplant, they will be activated in this pool, giving them the kidney they need. 

 

I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had more kidneys to give.
— Andy Dietz

RTV6 Television Interview

Founder Joy Araujo recently sat down with Amanda at WRTV6 to discuss Donor Appreciation Network, her kidney story, and going to Miss International! It was a delightful interview and we thank Amanda for covering our organization! We hope you walk away inspired and ready to achieve your dreams, too!!

Check out the YouTube link here!

 

https://youtu.be/Pj0hDLWH4Rw

Good News!!! They Love Us!

Good news! We have been distributing Donor Celebration Boxes to living kidney donors at Indiana University Hospital since December and we recently heard, THE DONORS ARE LOVING THEM! Yes!!! Our goal is to help and celebrate these heroes and it looks like we are doing our job! Every living kidney donor at IU will get a box and it warms our hearts to know that we are making the impact we sought out to make! We have even received some thank you cards in the mail! Nothing makes us smile more that hearing from those whom we hope to serve.

 

 

Interview with IU Hospital

 Today our founder, Joy, met with a journalist at Indiana University Hospital to discuss living kidney donation, Donor Appreciation Network, and her search for a kidney! It was awesome! Look for a story on the Indiana University Health facebook page soon! It was an honor to be interviewed and to get the word out about living kidney donation!

Today our founder, Joy, met with a journalist at Indiana University Hospital to discuss living kidney donation, Donor Appreciation Network, and her search for a kidney! It was awesome! Look for a story on the Indiana University Health facebook page soon! It was an honor to be interviewed and to get the word out about living kidney donation!

Kidney Month Updates!

March is National Kidney Month and that means DAN is celebrating! On March 11, we were at the Fishers, Indiana YMCA to teach about living kidney donation and to hand out flyers! We will be back on March 18th to see more new and familiar faces! We want to thank David Clark and the YMCA for letting us set up a table in the lobby to reach people!

In other news, DAN has been active at IU Hospital distributing Donor Celebration Boxes with a fabulous response from the living kidney donors receiving them! We have gotten messages and cards from touched donors and we could not be happier! Our goals is to celebrate these heroes and to hear that they are enjoying our boxes warms our hearts! 

To help us continue our work, consider donating at GoFundMe! Thanks!

Up and Running!

We have officially been up and running! We partnered with IU Hospital in Indianapolis to distribute our Donor Celebration Boxes to living kidney donors and we have heard that these heroes really like them! Yay! Each box includes a commemorative medal, a hand written thank you note and a fuel gift card! We are also looking forward to establishing a post-donation assistance fund for living kidney donors who encounter hardships after donating, but we need your financial help!! Please consider a holiday donation to Donor Appreciation Network! We and the living kidney donors thank you!

www.gofundme.com/donorappreciation

 

You can also mail a check to:

Donor Appreciation Network

12195 Brushfield Lane

FIshers, IN 46037

 

 

Our Kickoff Party Was a Success!

On August 20th 2016, Donor Appreciation Network had a fundraising kickoff party at the Mavris Arts and Event Center in Indianapolis! Not only did we educate about living kidney donation, we raised funds for our donor assistance and scholarship programs! Guests enjoyed an all-you-can-eat pasta bar and great music! Donor Appreciation Network is off to a great start and we look forward to a great year helping and celebrating living kidney donors!

If you missed the event, but still want to help, visit us at www.gofundme.com/donorappreciation.  

Welcome!

Welcome to the Donor Appreciation Network blog! We have exciting news! We are OFFICIALLY a 501(c)3 charity! So, all your contributions are now tax deductible! We are also planning another major surprise. Here's a hint: save the date of August 20th, 2016! Big things are in the works for Donor Appreciation Network! Stay tuned!

With love,

Joy