Farmington man to donate kidney to uncle next month

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published January 28, 2019

 Ceresnie

Ceresnie

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FARMINGTON — Farmington man Jordan Ceresnie believes in the power of giving. So much so that he is going to give a part of his body away come February.

Ceresnie, 31, will donate one of his kidneys to his uncle, who has had kidney issues, and will undergo surgery at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

“My uncle is very grateful for what I’m doing,” he said, adding that the steps in preparation for the transplant are underway. “Everything is looking good. I feel grateful I’m able to do this for somebody too. It is an opportunity to give back without expecting anything in return.”

Ceresnie’s uncle, who declined to be interviewed, suffers from chronic kidney disease. Both Ceresnie and his uncle’s procedures are scheduled to take place Feb. 20.

“I’ve known for years that my uncle kept having some kidney issues — didn’t know the severity of it until pretty recently last year,” Ceresnie said. “He needs a kidney transplant or things could go a lot worse for him.”

Ceresnie added that, initially, he didn’t know if he would be a match or not.

“I knew I was an O positive blood type — a universal donor,” he said.

He said that his uncle put him in contact with different transplant professionals at Beaumont.

“I went in for testing and tested positive for a match as a donor,” he said, adding that after that it was a multistep process with different interviews and testing. “A live donor is the best-case scenario because kidney recipient receives a lot better results.”

Joan Rappley, Living Donor Coordinator at Beaumont, Royal Oak, said someone looking to become a living donor can visit Beaumont’s website, where there is a questionnaire to fill out.

She said that the questionnaire is to try and “rule out any major, medical, social, surgical history that might rule them out as a potential kidney donor.”

She added that the kidney is “a very sought after” organ.

“There is definitely a shortage,” she said of kidney donations from living and deceased donors. “A lot of people don’t realize you can live with one kidney.”

She added that nationwide about 100,000 people are on a kidney national transplant waiting list; over 2,400 people are on a waiting list in Michigan.

“You have to be listed on a national kidney waiting list to have a transplant,” Rappley said, adding that there is also a direct donation, where somebody wants to give someone else a kidney, which Ceresnie did.

She added that one year post-kidney transplant at Beaumont, donors are functioning at 100 percent.

“In general, living donor kidneys work longer,” she said, adding that deceased donor kidneys last about 10-15 years.

Kidney transplant has come a long way, Rappley said, adding that it no longer involves making “big incisions” in the back area, which resulted in long recovery times of about two months.

Now, a four-to-six week recovery time, along with a roughly three-day hospital stay, is routine.

The surgery is also laparoscopic and puts the donor kidney near the pelvic area; the non-functioning kidneys just remain and will shrivel up.

Rappley said the non-functioning kidney is not removed because more surgery involves more complications, unless the kidneys are causing harm to the person.

Ceresnie’s wife, Amber, posted on a GoFundMe page for her husband that after completing several tests, including blood tests, CAT scan, chest X-rays and psychological tests, her husband decided to take on the “selfless journey” of donating his kidney.

“Many of us would not even consider doing something like this due to physical restrictions, fear, and/or financial obligations,” she said in the post.  “Jordan has given an immense amount of consideration as to what this means for his health, our family, and the recipient’s life.”

The family is asking for $8,000 in donations to cover non-medical, life-related expenses due to Jordan Ceresnie missing work for at least six weeks.

As of Jan. 25, $2,458 was raised.

“As he recovers, Jordan will be very limited in his activity. Restrictions include not driving, not lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds, and multiple follow-up visits,” she said in the post. “Loss of income and other expenses incurred are estimated to be nearly $8,000. Due to the ethics around organ donation, Jordan cannot receive any compensation from the person receiving his donation.”

She added that she will be picking up extra work shifts when she can.

“But there is only so much time I have. Jordan will need lots of assistance and care at first and he won’t be able to watch our child alone. Really, I am hoping to get our basic bills covered and take care of our family,” she said in the post. “For a lot of us, supporting Jordan will be the closest thing we can do to participate in a such a life-saving activity.”

Ceresnie said that his wife has been “very supportive” the whole time.

“Of course it is scary for both of us,” he said, adding that there can be some complications to any surgery, although this one is not likely.

Ceresnie added that his medical expenses are covered through insurance, and through his learning of kidney transplants, he was not even aware that there was a shortage of kidney donations.

He added that living with one kidney won’t impact his health at all.

“Some people are born with one kidney and live a healthy normal life,” he said, adding that he plans on maintaining his healthy lifestyle by eating right and taking care of himself.

He added after he recovers, he will be more of an advocate for organ donations.

“If you have the ability to save somebody’s life, you should do it,” he said.

For more information, find Ceresnie on GoFundMe.

And for more information on kidney transplants, go to www.beaumont/transplant.org.

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