Kidney Transplant Transplant Services

Overcoming hereditary kidney disease

Though I knew I had hereditary Polycystic Kidney Disease, I always thought there would be a cure before I ever needed a kidney transplant. So when I went into kidney failure at age 46 – a decade younger than my mother had, and two decades before my grandmother – I was not prepared to answer questions like, who might be my kidney donor, what would happen with my giant PKD kidneys, would I have to go on dialysis, and what would my insurance cover?

But from the moment my Nephrologist referred me to the Stanford Kidney Transplant Clinic, I knew I was in the right place.

It was clear from the very beginning that each member of the transplant team knew exactly what the process was, and what each team member did. Right away, I realized I wasn’t going to be just another kidney patient in an over-burdened system.

At Stanford, each person was known by every member of the staff, and throughout the process, I always felt as if I was the top priority of whomever I was meeting with. Each time I met with the social worker, nephrologists, nurse, coordinator or surgeon, I left feeling like they really knew all of the ins and outs of kidney transplantation, and that they really cared about what happened to me.

My Live Donor

For me, perhaps even more difficult than kidney failure was the idea of asking for and taking a kidney from a donor. Luckily for me, my donor volunteered, and by the time the Stanford Transplant Team was done with her evaluation process, even I had become convinced she wasn’t at risk for future kidney issues and that she would be receiving top notch medical career. (Read about the experience of Kim’s live kidney donor.)

Knowing that my donor was evaluated with her own set of doctors and team assured me that they would not have let her go forward with donation if there was any substantial risk of future harm. This made it much easier for me to ultimately accept the wonderful gift of a kidney, and for me – life.

Complete Confidence

I’m so grateful every day that I was fortunate enough to have the Stanford Kidney Transplant Team do my nephrectomy and kidney transplant. I had such confidence in my surgeon and surgical team that I was able to relax and keep my focus on healing.

I felt respected and included in each step and decision made leading up to my transplant. No question ever went unanswered. I never had to worry about insurance or the financial end of things because the transplant finance people dealt directly with my insurance and primary care provider on all money matters.

Even after the surgery, the coordinator had made arrangements with the local pharmacy so that all of my medications were prepared and delivered to me before I left the hospital.

I feel as supported by the Stanford Kidney Transplant Team today as I did when I was in the hospital having surgery. The team’s commitment is for a lifetime – not just for the surgical procedure.

The Stanford Kidney Transplant Team is full of good, caring and very smart people who have done everything in their power to help me and thousands of others like me who needed a transplant. It’s no coincidence that they’re ranked Number 1 in the country in 1- and 5-year transplant success rates.

Without reservation, I highly recommend the Stanford Kidney Transplant Program to anyone who needs a transplant. They have changed my life inalterably for the better.

- Kim Kupferer

 

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