Would You Donate a Kidney?

[UPDATE: Mom got a kidney transplant. My brother, Rallee, emailed a bunch of people about it. Click here to read it. ]

Many of you might know of my mom, Raquel Villavicencio Balagtas. She is a strong-willed, intelligent, and accomplished woman who has done many good things for others in need. A deeply religious person, she inspires those around her to live a holy life.

She has been living in Charleston, SC since 1993 and has been running an assisted living facility that takes care of mentally challenged adults who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, paranoia, chronic depression, borderline personality, and autism. She is also an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist and a lector in her parish, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She is also in the core team of the RCIA, and she writes stories about saints for the parish bulletin.

Now it is her turn to be the recipient of kindness. Raquel, a Carmelite tertiary, was unable to join her high school class for its Golden Jubilee Celebration in February this year in Manila because she is suffering from Stage 4 chronic kidney failure. Because of this illness, she requires  a kidney transplant. Luckily, she is a universal recipient… having a blood type of AB+.

But as far as we can tell, none of us adult family members are qualified to donate a kidney. She is married to my father, George . We were 5 brothers – my brother, Gino, died at 17 in 1987 of asthma.

If she doesn’t get the transplant, she would be trapped in a 3-hour dialysis, 3 times a week for the rest of her life. This would be a prison sentence for her, being the travel bug that she is. She would be dependent on the machines which would do nothing to make her better. We are seeking help in the search for a kidney donor. If you can’t donate, your prayers will surely help.

I have compiled the following PDF files for anyone interested. The Living Donor Patient Health History Form is editable for filling out. It can be emailed, faxed, or mailed to the person listed below. It is the first step in determining if a donor is qualified to donate a kidney.

Living Donor Patient Health History Form:

Life Choice Brochure:

Living Kidney Donation Step by Step:

Donor to Donor:

The person to send it to is Phyllis Connor-Richey. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call her directly at 843.792.1594 or 1.800.277.8687 Option 4, then Option 3. Her email address is connorp@musc.edu

Phone, email, address, and fax info are on the Living Donor Patient Health History Form as well.

Listed below are some websites that you may find helpful in learning more about living donation.

www.kidneywdc.org ( National Kidney Foundation)
www.unos.org (United Network of Organ Sharing)
www.kidneyregistry.org (National Kidney Registry)
www.muschealth.com/livingdonor (MUSC Transplant)

Thank you!


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Jet Balagtas

I love code, great design, startups, and solving problems. I believe in contributing to the greater good. Insatiable learner. Entrepreneurial by nature. Marketing DNA.

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