My brother, Hans, is the most vivacious person you will ever meet — guaranteed. Within a minute of meeting him, you’ll instantly feel alive and warm, accompanied by endless laughter (provided free of charge by Hans). He’s a brother, a son, a husband, and a boat-load of talent. I wish I could tell you all of the positive traits and characteristics about Hans, but there isn’t enough time in the world for me to list them all. The world needs uplifting spirits like Hans’, and now we need your help to keep his spirit alive!
Due to renal trauma at birth, Hans developed kidney disease-turned-kidney failure. Hans was 17 years old when he first started dialysis. In an instant, his entire life changed. This led to a new life hooked up to a dialysis machine 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. His diet was extremely restricted, and Hans lost a lot of weight because of it. He was on dialysis for one year while our family actively sought a donor. The waitlist was roughly 8 years for an O-type donor.
Hans didn’t have 8 years to spare.
The universe gifted us with Hans’ soon-to-be donor, Angela Carole Brown. After a series of tests to ensure that Angela was a perfect match, we soon received news that the tissue was the exact match Hans needed. Hans and Angela underwent the transplant process at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. My family was anxious. We were nervous. But my god were we hopeful and excited for the transplant to be completed.
After roughly 3 hours, we received news on how the transplant went — it was a success! We were able to see Hans and Angela after to see how they were doing. The first thing Hans did? Eat a pizza. (The little luxuries in life should never be taken for granted!) Angela was just as bright and cheery post-surgery as we had always known her. My family was beyond relieved to see how smooth the transplant went.
Fast forward 10 years later to the month, Hans’ kidney began to reject. My mom immediately flew out from Georgia back to California to be with Hans for two weeks while he was in the hospital. Then we were told news that would set my family back to square one, exactly where we were 10 years prior:
Hans needs a new kidney.
My family is asking for your help! They have set up a website to serve as a go-to for information, education, and a knowledge-base. Please head over to KindeyForHans.com to learn more about how you can get involved! Currently, Hans is on dialysis 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. This impacts his ability to work and provide for his family. He is on dialysis an extra hour each session than he was 10+ years ago because his body is unable to filter out toxins on its own, so the additional hour rids of the toxins necessary for him to live comfortably.
I have compiled a quick FAQ to answer any potential questions you may have.
Q: What blood type is Hans? What blood type does he need?
A: Hans is O+ blood type. He is looking for type O+ or O-!
Q: How do I find out my blood type?
A: A simple blood test will tell you your blood type. You may also donate blood to find out your blood type! Visit RedCross.org for more information.
Q: What is the process?
A: First is a blood test to see if a potential donor is a match. If a match, there are consultations, psychological evaluation, and further health tests. The actual surgery takes approximately 3 hours, with the donor having a two-day hospital stay (Hans’ stay would be 5 days).
Q: What is the recovery time?
A: The donor would be off work 2 weeks to 1 month depending on how physical and strenuous their job is.
Q: What costs are involved?
A: Hans’ Insurance covers all medical expenses for the donor through the transplant and for a year afterwards. The family covers any other expenses not covered by insurance.
Are you interested in being a donor for Hans? If you are interested in being a donor, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the initial process. If you are unable to be a donor, would you consider helping cover costs? There are three outlets to donate financially: GoFundMe, Facebook, and PayPal.
Explore Transplant & Living Donation strives to educate others on the importance of transplants and how the process works. I had the opportunity to talk about my experience and how Hans’ health has affected our family and everyday living.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my family. Thank you for your contributions. Thank you for sharing. And most of all, thank you for your support.
Before I let you go, I’d like to leave you with these brilliant parting words from the big boy Hans himself:
“You know what the worst feeling in the world is? Needing to go #2 so bad and realizing you still have 2½ hours left on dialysis.”