We know that humans only need one kidney to live a full life. You can see it in the headlines today. To name a few, you would have heard that celebrities like Selena Gomez, Sarah Hyland, George Lopez, and Tracy Morgan received a kidney from living donors. That is what we are trying to do for Erik Vanderburgh, a father of five young children, ages 7 to 15 years old. You could find Erik’s story at https://www.facebook.com/HelpDaddyErik/
Please help us find a living donor for Erik Vanderburgh. We are hoping that 1 in a 1,000,000 will see this information and takes action to help a family of 7 get their lives back to normal. Erik has to be the stay at home parent while I (the wife) work outside of the home. At times, I have had to hold multiple jobs to make ends meet. As I enrolled into a doctorate program, I had to cut back on work hours to focus on studies. Without a second income, financials have been extremely challenging. We have been able to survive — it’s a good thing the Inland Empire has been affordable.
To give you an idea, this life before dialysis was a lot more enjoyable. Erik was able to:
* Work out at the gym every day, a few times a day
* He worked as a certified personal trainer who taught clients how to exercise and live healthy lives
* Cook meals (most breakfasts, lunches and dinners) at home
* Enjoy movie nights at home Friday through Sunday nights or at movie theatres
* Go to amusement parks, especially water rides in the summer
* Keep the house was clean and organized
Life while on dialysis:
* Sadly, Erik has become anemic and does not have enough energy to do more than take the children to and from school and activities
* Erik cannot hold a job — he is too tired and often too ill to do more than taking the children to and from school and activities
*It has been at least 3 years since has been to the gym. He feels too faint to do any cardio work. He attempts karate class but he has to be very careful about over-exertion
*Erik is tethered to the dialysis machine 10.5 hours a night and 1.5 hours a day to a medical pole on dialysis
* Meals — we are lucky if we have something cooking. Otherwise, it’s take-out food most meals or the kids will cook something. Erik taught the children how to cook
* No water rides because of the dialysis port installed on his abdomen. Absolutely no swimming and soaking in a tub.
* The house is a mess, however that is not as important as staying alive by being tied to this dialysis machine 10.5 hours a night and 1.5 hours a day to a medical pole to do dialysis
* Movies are minimal because Erik has to be in bed y 9:00 p.m. so he could get up early in the morning to take the children to school.
What can you do to help?
If you are able to help in anyway possible, please do. I find that people are very creative and they can think of ways to solve problems. More minds working is better than mine which is near exhaustion every day. We could definitely use some more manpower in spreading this message about our needs and hope that a living donor will come forward and go through with the donation process which is a long process. It is probably one of the reasons why there is a shortage of donors, other than fear.
A living kidney donor will bring our lives back to “normal” and the entire family will enjoy usual family time and live a more balanced life. A living kidney donor is hopefully out there – that one in a million who would see this article and will make a difference.
Erik has been on dialysis since 2016. UCLA recognized that Erik has waited 3 years on dialysis and the transplant center said it will be at least another 7 years to wait for a deceased donor. If you or someone you know desires to make a difference in many people’s lives while alive, a living kidney donor would transform this upside-down family life back to normal again. If you are not a direct match, you could also be the one to ignite a “kidney chain” of hundreds of kidney donations and it is so powerful that one person can accomplish that because you could be that missing link to helping hundreds or thousands. But it all starts with one person.
Please consider testing to become a living kidney donor for Erik Vanderburgh. If you would like to speak with someone at UCLA, here is information for the contact person at UCLA:
Carmen Alicia Romero
Administrative Assistant III
Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Program
1145 Gayley Avenue, Suite 321
Los Angeles, CA. 90095
Otherwise, please go to www.uclakidneydonor.org for the confidential online health pre-screen. We do not know if anyone has tested unless the potential donor tells us because the potential donor’s comprehensive health screen and the medical information will be evaluated by a committee of doctors. UCLA wants to make sure that the transplant is a success for both the donor and the recipient so everything is done to ensure safety for all.
Thanks for reading and for your assistance in our search.