My Story

I am Stephanie Hoff and inherited polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which has caused my kidney function to diminish gradually since PKD was diagnosed in 1994.  I am now in Stage 5, the last stage of chronic kidney disease, and I need a kidney transplant. I have been approved for one at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, which has one of the largest living-donor kidney transplant programs in the United States. Because the time frame for the transplant process is unknown, I am also preparing for dialysis should this treatment be necessary before a transplant can be performed.

I am a private person and would usually try to find my way to better health on my own, but I cannot find that path without the help of others. Without my asking them, three family members volunteered to be living donors, an unbelievably selfless gift.  Their willingness to be donors gave me great hope that one would be a match. However, after several months, none have been approved to be living donors.   

As a result, I am seeking a living donor outside my family and am reaching out for your help.  That help can take many forms:  your prayers and positive support; your willingness to share my story with family and friends who might know someone who is willing to become a living donor; and your serious consideration of becoming a living donor.

A living donor is ideal in that the transplant process is shorter with fewer complications for the recipient, whereas the wait time on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list for a deceased donor kidney, on which I am registered, is several years.  Moreover, a kidney from a living donor significantly improves the recipient’s survival rate and extends the recipient’s life.  

The kidney donor’s health, safety and well-being are Mayo’s top priority during the donation process. The living donor transplant team offers the donor information, support and follow-up care.  To be a living kidney donor, a person needs to be in generally good health and usually younger than 60 years old, and for my specific case, have blood Type A or Type O. Thorough tests are performed to determine the potential donor’s viability, and all medical costs incurred by the donor are covered by the recipient’s insurance. Kidney donors go on to live long healthy lives with one kidney.

To find out more about becoming a living kidney donor, you may check out Mayo’s information to learn how to get started, what living donors can expect with tests and screening, the procedure, risks, recovery, financial information and more at mayoclinic.org/livingdonor. If you have questions or need more information at any time, you may contact the living donor transplant team at LIVINGDONORORGANTP@mayo.edu or call toll-free 866-227-1569.  

Only retired for four years, most of which have been overshadowed by Covid, I have been generally isolated to avoid contracting it and consequently have worshiped online until recently.  A living donor kidney transplant would enable me to extend and enrich my life, to contribute time and energy to church and community activities, to travel, and to pursue other interests and goals that have been precluded by my declining health.  I offer my deepest appreciation to you for your prayerful consideration.