Blayne Badura thought that he had this kidney disease thing figured out. For two decades, he had worked as a Seminole County Deputy, a job that he loved and allowed him to provide for his wife and two children, while doing dialysis three times a week.
“Work kept my mind off my own illness it sounds crazy but it’s true. When I went to work I didn’t have to worry about me. I dealt with other peoples’ problems.”
Then in 2016, he noticed he was having a hard time breathing. This and constant, intense bouts of headache and nausea, started to affect his work.
Badura started to worry about how he would pay the mortgage for the house he shared with his wife and two children, let alone support his eldest daughter through college if he could no longer work.
After doctors determined Badura’s body was no longer responding to the dialysis, he was added to the organ donation waitlist at Florida Hospital. But with a rare blood type, Badura’s wait time was almost double that of the national average.
At around the same time, another Seminole County resident, Lauren Gau, was also waiting on the organ donation registry at Florida Hospital.
Gau wanted to donate her kidney to her mother Leslie, who had been on dialysis, seven days a week, every week, for as long as she could remember. It meant that Leslie couldn’t swim because of her port, and hurricanes with their power outages that would make it impossible for her machine to work, terrified her.
“I wanted to do something. I always wanted to do that to make her life better and make sure she attended my wedding this year.”
It was only after Gau tested negative as a donor for her mother, that they started to research paired living kidney donation.
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