A Difficult Path

“Dialysis and transplant (from a living or a deceased donor) are the only treatments for kidney failure. There are two types of dialysis:

“Hemodialysis: A machine cleans your blood at either a dialysis center several times a week, or at home every day or night.

Peritoneal dialysis: A fluid is put in your belly to clean your body and then removed several times a day and overnight.”


Life activities must be scheduled around  dialysis treatments which often occur at least three days a week for multiple hours each treatment. Patients must follow a strict treatment schedule.  Patients on dialysis may experience low energy and weakness before and after treatment from a process  that many patients have described as “brutal”.

The Mayo Clinic website describing hemodialysis identifies the following conditions related to dialysis:

  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Itching
  • Sleep Problems
  • Anemia
  • Bone Diseases
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Fluid Overload
  • Access Site Complications

The dialysis access sites necessary for all types of dialysis (an opening by which blood and fluid can enter and exit the body) are subject to infection and other complications.  

Dialysis Is A Poor Replacement For A Healthy Kidney

Dialysis does not replace a single functioning kidney.

“A working kidney can remove fluid and waste 24 hours a day. Dialysis can only do 10–15% of what a normal kidney does. A transplanted kidney can replace up to 50–85% of normal kidney function.”


Transplant patients may expect a longer life than patients on dialysis.

“Patients who have a transplant often live longer than patients who stay on dialysis. This is because dialysis is hard on your body and can cause other health problems.”


“The waiting time for a deceased donor kidney in the Los Angeles area is five to ten years and is based on your blood type, and sometimes longer, as the national waiting list continues to grow every year.”


Patients on dialysis waiting for a deceased donor kidney rarely receive a transplant in a optimal period of time.

“A transplant before starting dialysis or within 2 years of starting dialysis usually works the best and prevents health problems from being on dialysis for a long time”.


Transplant patients return to a life much like before they experienced kidney failure.


Do you wish to find out if you can be a kidney donor?

(Identify Your Recipient as Debra Starr-Knecht. You’ll need to contact Debra by email for her date of birth.)

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“People who get a transplant often have more energy than patients on dialysis. Most can go back to work, eat and drink more freely, and return to exercising.”