HOW CAN YOU BE TESTED AS A POTENTIAL DONOR?
(from Samantha, Mike's wife)
I have been through all the testing and can tell you exactly what it was like. I just wish I didn't have to ask anyone else to do it, because I was soooo happy with the thought of to be helping Mike in this unique way.
You start your donor evaluation process by submitting the form (blue box near the bottom of the page) on the Beth Israel Deaconess Transplant Institute website. Enter Michael William Fratus as the intended recipient. You can also call them directly at 617-632-9700 if you prefer. They will take good care of you! If the transplant team decides you are a potential donor, they will perform a blood test to confirm blood type and to check for a 'crossmatch', which determines the chances of Mike's body rejecting the kidney.
After the initial screening is done and a match is confirmed, all the testing is to evaluate your health and your kidney function. The details are in the BIDMC Pamphlet for Donors below.
The most important things to remember is that donors are assigned a donor team and these doctors, social workers, nurses and advocates take the health of the donor almost too seriously. The team will NOT take any risks with a donor's health. And, in fact, if you give up a kidney and later in life need one - you get bumped way up the waiting list, but studies have shown that kidney donors actually live LONGER than the average population.
Additionally, the entire screening process, up to the very last, is confidential unless you decide otherwise. While I am HAPPY to answer any and all questions, we also want you to learn about this process and think about it without worrying about getting our hopes up or feeling like you are committing to anything. Yes, this also gives you lots of time to make a big decision.
It is important to know that all your testing expenses are covered by Mike's insurance!
I'm not going to lie and tell you it doesn't involve more than a few needle pricks and possibly a couple of days out of your life, but the team at BIDMC makes it easy and they are absolutely kind and understanding about the sacrifices a donor is making. I was blown away with how well they treated me and when the nurse called to tell me I couldn't donate she was almost as upset as I was.
If there is anything I can do to help you help Mike, just ask. Click here to go to the Contact form or get our email address.