While running errands in South Portland yesterday, a window decal caught my eye and really stuck with me.

I know there are probably people I run into every week who are looking for a transplant but it's not something I think about often. Donating organs likely isn't something many people think about until they are in need or someone they know is in need. This decal you have on your back window really puts it in people's face and is a heck of a strategy.

While I sat in my car preparing my playlist for the drive home, I saw you scurry into the car to get out of the piercing cold. Had it been nicer, I may have spoken to you, wished you, or whoever was in need, well. Or maybe I wouldn't have. Maybe I wouldn't know what to say to you at that moment. I could see that you were older, very stylish, and I have to say, you were rocking that bold lipstick. I couldn't help but wonder if it was you needing the kidney or a loved one. Either way, you are clearly carrying a heavy burden. Heavy enough to advertise your desperation on your Rav4 that matches your lipstick.

I'd like you to know that I took the time to learn about something that I have very little knowledge about. Here's what I learned:

According to the American Kidney Fund, 100,000 people are awaiting a kidney transplant.

Once someone decides they would like to be a living donor, they will need to have an exam at a transplant center that may include blood tests, heart exam, mammogram (for women), prostate exam (for men), and more.

If it is determined that an individual is a match, the transplant will be scheduled. If the individual is not a match to a particular person or if they just want to donate to someone they don't necessarily know, they can participate in a non-directed donation.

The transplant surgery itself takes 2-3 hours and hospital recovery time lasts 1-3 days for donors.

I sincerely hope you, or whoever you know that needs a kidney, receives one.

Best,
Brittany

If you think you could help, please, call, 207-572-9770. Let's not forget that we're all one diagnosis or one phone call away from being this very woman.