A new kidney for Booth’s orchestra director

kidney

Amanda Moran, the orchestra director at J.C. Booth Middle School, recently received a kidney from her brother, Andrew.

Amanda Moran is not a typical candidate for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), mainly because her parents did not have it. PKD, which is known for causing cysts to grow on the kidneys, is typically passed down genetically and it doesn’t skip generations. According to kidney.org, it is the number four cause of kidney failure, affecting an estimated 600,000 Americans. A genetic mutation caused Moran’s PKD, which resulted in elevated blood pressure and effected the levels of different chemicals and toxins in the body and how they were processed.
“The biggest thing was how tired I was,” Moran, the orchestra director at J.C. Booth Middle School, said. “I’d go to the grocery store, or fold laundry, and I’d need to take a nap.”
After getting the diagnosis, Moran started doing research. Doctors said that she would likely need to go on dialysis within five years or get a kidney transplant. Two years ago, Moran went through the screening process with the Piedmont Transplant Center and was approved to get on the list. With nearly 5,000 people waiting for kidney transplants in Georgia alone, and an estimated wait time of 3-5 years, the center recommended letting family members, friends and colleagues know what she was going through in hopes of finding a living donor. Her sister and a friend both got themselves tested to see if they were potential matches, but Moran’s antibodies rejected theirs. In May of 2015, her younger brother, Andrew, got tested and their antibodies matched. Three months later, he donated a kidney to his big sister.
The donation of a live kidney can make a huge difference. It is estimated that a live kidney can last up to 20 years, whereas a kidney from a deceased donor will only last eight to ten years. Moran was also able to have the transplant done before she ever needed to go on dialysis. Her new kidney started working right away and both brother and sister were out of the hospital within a few days. The recovery process for Moran was painful and long, but within two months she felt better and noticed her energy levels were back to normal. She returned to teaching in November.
There was no special gift for her brother, whom she considers her hero, at Christmas, but she did get him a t-shirt with a message about being a kidney donor and he knows that she is eternally grateful. Her wish now is for people to become more informed about live organ donations.
“People hear about it and it scares them, but they should learn about it, get checked out and ask questions. The doctors won’t allow you to donate an organ if you’re not healthy enough physically, or mentally, to handle it,” Moran said. “There are not enough kidneys out there. There are people that need help. There is no better gift than to save someone’s life.”
To learn more about organ transplants and donations, visit piedmont.org/transplant.

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