I’m going to be away from the Kevin & Bean show a few days here and there over the next two weeks as I prepare for and recover from a surgery to have one of my kidneys removed.
I am donating it to a friend of mine, and maybe one of yours if you are a long time KROQ fan, named Scott Mason. Scott has worked for the station for a very long time, at one time as a DJ and programmer, and in recent years as the head of engineering.
Scott has had medical issues for much of his adult life, including his kidneys failing, and that led him to have a transplant from a cadaver back in 1999. Well, now that one has failed too and Scott is back on dialysis for many hours a week. The kidney processes waste out of the blood and without one your body is being poisoned all the time. The dialysis helps but is a temporary solution. You only get off the machine if you get a new kidney or you die.
You may know I live in Seattle and do the Kevin & Bean show from my house. Scott visits once a year to do maintenance and upgrades on my studio equipment and it was during his most recent visit last spring that I noticed how unwell he looked.
He explained his situation and that he was about six years out on the waiting list for a new kidney. That was inconceivable to me, to imagine that all over America there are people like Scott, who are very sick and might die, waiting for organs at the same time that literally of thousands of them are being buried every year.
If nothing else, I hope everyone reading this will double check that their wishes are known and that they will make their liver, lungs, eyes and whatever else can be harvested after their death to help another human. (Here is one resource for more information on that)
On November 13th, I will become a living kidney donor, (I hope!) Despite all the jokes from the guys on the air over the years about my lack of exercise (okay, it’s true) I have always been in excellent health. I don’t drink or smoke or eat meat. My blood pressure and pulse are excellent and I am young enough to contribute a very healthy working kidney that should last more than 15 years in Scott.
This decision was a no-brainer for me. The disruption in my life should be minimal. There will be some discomfort for a few weeks after surgery but after that my life should go on almost exactly as before. One of the things I’ve learned is that we have two kidneys and when one is removed the other one steps up and works harder so that instead of the expected 50% remaining function I should have about 80%. Scott will go from nearly 0% to that same 80% and that will improve his quality of life dramatically.
I have every confidence in the surgical and recovery team at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. They have been wonderful in educating me about organ donation and preparing me for what is ahead. They are available for anyone to contact for more information at Cedars-Sinai’s Kidney Donor site.
We’ll be talking about this on the air this morning on the Kevin and Bean show for the first time and in the days to come as we get closer to the surgery date. If you are lucky enough to be healthy I hope you will consider sharing your good fortune with others, whether that means donating blood (literally the least you can do to save a life), being on the bone marrow transplant registry , or volunteering to be an organ donor.
Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2