Hello everyone. First and foremost, I want to thank you for your support, for even taking the time to visit this website. No matter how you help whether it be through prayer, sharing, speaking about it with others, helping with (or doing!) fundraisers, financial donations, or even a kidney donation, or in any other way I want to make sure you know it is noticed, and it is appreciated more than I can put into words.
If you wish to go directly to the financial donation page, click here.
There are two status bars at the bottom of each page. One shows my current kidney function (don’t judge me…), and the other is where we are with financial donations in relation to what is forecast to be needed even after what insurance pays.
For those who don’t know me I’m Chris Wruck. I’m 31 years old, have a beautiful wife Sarah, energetic 5 year old son Alister, spunky 3 year old daughter Gwen, and one Rainbow baby on the way. We live in the small town of Merrillan, WI and my wife and I both work nights as 911 Dispatchers.
As of March of this year (2018) I have been placed on the UNOS transplant waiting list for a kidney. I am at 19% kidney function at last check (April 18th, 2018). My blood type is B+, but you do not have to be an exact match to donate to me. There is a program called paired kidney exchange, and if you believe you are healthy enough to donate and are willing, please inquire at the link on the menu at the top of this page (Living Donor Inquiry). UPDATE: My aunt is a match! We are set to have surgery on August 8th, 2018 and I should be released on my birthday (big 3 2) August 13th, 2018. If you still wish to inquire about living donation you may do so, just in case! UW will keep your information on file. UPDATE #2: Transplant was completed on August 8th, 2018 and all is well at this time! On the left is a picture of me a few days after!
My Kidney Disease
I have had IgA Nephropathy since childhood and now I am nearing End Stage Renal Failure (ESRD); Stage 5 of Kidney Disease.
“IgA nephropathy (nuh-FROP-uh-thee), also known as Berger’s disease, is a kidney disease that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) lodges in your kidneys. This results in local inflammation that, over time, may hamper your kidneys’ ability to filter wastes from your blood.” – Mayo Clinic
My options at this point are dialysis, or a kidney transplant. Kidney transplant is the most ideal for multiple reasons, including: it allows the recipient to return to mostly-normal life (better quality), it is the best longer-term solution for health and survival, longer life, research favors transplant, among many other positives. It does have downsides, such as having to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of a persons life (along with the side-effects), but the benefits outweigh the risks by a million miles.
Dialysis on the other hand has shown to be very hard on the body. This is for many reasons. Dialysis alone only filters roughly 10% of what a healthy set of kidneys would normally do (or a single kidney). This can lead to other medical problems. Dialysis is very inconvenient and makes it hard to live a normal life. Dialysis sessions can be anywhere around 4 hours a day, at least three times a week, if not more depending on symptoms and needs. There are multiple ways of doing dialysis, some easier than others, but the reality is that dialysis in most cases leads to a much shorter life expectancy. Even a kidney transplant is not a cure, but merely a treatment as well, but it is the best treatment currently available.
Financial and Insurance
There are many costs associated with transplantation. These include medications (anti-rejection, anti-viral, etc), deductibles, premiums, co-pays/insurance, follow-up care, travel, lodging, and so forth. I will be required to take on Medicare Part A & B, which increase my costs in addition to my group insurance costs. These costs are also for any donor. The estimated three year costs out-of-pocket are estimated to be around $30,000 just for me. If you are able to donate even $10, it would be greatly appreciated. Please click the Donate Today link to do so through the non-profit Help Hope Live.
There is a process involved with living kidney donation, but even with myself having kidney disease I have made it this far. I have been through evaluations with both Mayo and UW Health, and so far, so good. Although it has been a rollercoaster with ups and downs throughout this process. If you are able and willing, please inquire, donate, share, and engage.
In the future I plan on turning this website into more of a community to advocate for kidney donation, and in general, organ donation. #donatelife
Chris Wruck and Family