gavin3Yesterday started off like most other days, rush to get the kids ready for school, out the door and off to work, interspersed with checking work emails on my phone before our international partners shut down for the day.  When I arrived at work I was sitting answering emails and questions when I received a call.

It was totally unexpected.  

The transplant coordinator in San Diego started the conversation off in a chatty way.  But there was a tone in her voice.  I know that tone.  I have used that tone.  It is the tone that says “I don’t want to make this call and I have some really bad news”.

She finally got to the point of the call.  Gavin’s surgical team and my surgical team had a meeting.  They had decided that my kidney was too “high risk” to transplant into Gavin.

Since before the pre-op trip we have know there were two factors that were concerning about my donation screening.  One resulted in the tests I have been having since the beginning of the year and there is still no resolution or indication of any reason for the problem.  The biopsy that was scheduled for tomorrow was supposed to give the definitive answer on the quality of my left kidney.  You know, the one I have been thinking of as “Gavin’s Kidney”.

The other factor was that I had two small angiomylipomas on “Gavin’s Kidney”.  The team had originally felt they were “no big deal” and “not a problem”.   They were basically small, fatty tumors that are generally benign.  As a result of a bad injury in 2008 we had verification via old CT scans that the aniomylipomas had been present for a long time and had not changed in size.

Yesterday’s call was to tell me that now the team felt the angiomylipomas actually made my kidney too risky to transplant.

So after 6 months of testing, weeks before the donation was to happen Gavin is left with no donor.  I understand and believe the decision the team made was in Gavin’s best interest.

So now Gavin needs a new Hero.  To be considered for donation you would need:

  • are age 65 or younger with healthy kidneys
  • are in good general health
  • have normal blood pressure
  • have two normal-sized kidneys
  • have normal urine and blood tests
  • are willing to donate a kidney
  • are able to understand the risks and benefits of donation
  • are able to sign an informed consent form stating you knowingly agree to surgery.

You may not qualify if you have:

  • kidney (renal) disease
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • diabetes
  • major health problems (such as emphysema, cancer, heart disease)
  • a drug or alcohol problem
  • feelings of being forced to donate.

Additionally Gavin needs a type “B” or “O” donor.  If you would like to be considered as a match you can contact his family at  The testing process is long but oh so rewarding.

This entry was posted in bulgarian adoption, kidney donation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Devastation

  1. Cris Powell, D.V.M. says:

    I have been following your blog. You are an incredibly giving and loving woman. I am so sorry that the transplant did not work out. It seems incredible that they could go as far as they did, knowing that the masses were there, and suddenly decide it is too risky. I will pray that a donor is found quickly for little Gavin!
    ~Cris Powell

  2. jaymie georgen says:

    Nina, I am so sorry. I know you must be so saddened by this news. This family is so blessed to have you in their corner, first willing, and now wishing, for a kidney for Gavin. We’re thinking of you all. Jaymie

  3. Katie says:

    If there are no other options, would they consider a donor with a history of kidney stones but no other known kidney problems? I would do this in a heartbeat if I could…

  4. Amber Nieves says:

    How to I find out my blood type? May sound weird that I wouldn’t know at age 34 but I really don’t know

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