One of the reasons we are so anxious to keep reaching people with our quest for Mike's new kidney is that screening takes time and, as perfectly demonstrated by my own experience, things can change. So, how long does it take to screen a donor?? The process is very well spelled out in this document from BIDMC, but the timeline is CRITICAL.
1. Week 1 - 2: the process starts when you fill out the intake form on the BIDMC website. The fabulous Tracy Brann gathers these and the donor team reviews them and calls each potential donor to either explain why they are not suitable or to request a blood test.
2. Week 2 - 3: blood tests are collected and BIDMC again reviews and calls potential donors. At this point the best candidate for full evaluation is selected. We want the donor team to have as many great choices as we can before they make a choice to proceed because the next step takes a lot of time.
3. Week 2-8: one candidate is fully evaluated for the ability to donate SAFELY to Mike.
YES, it can easily take TWO MONTHS to find the right donor. If, during the full evaluation the selected candidate is found to be unable to donate (there are many reasons why otherwise perfectly healthy people can't donate) and we are lucky enough to have another candidate waiting in the wings, the full evaluation begins again. As you can see, these months can add up and the whole idea is to have a kidney ready for Mike when he needs it, and with enough time to spare that the actual transplant can be scheduled with some regard for the donors plans as well.
We can do this. With your help!!