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Lifestyle

Life ‘Turned Upside Down’ For Diabetic Morris County Mom Desperate For Kidney Donor — Again

Denville resident Debra Kaufman, 60, is desperately searching for a kidney donor for the second time.
Denville resident Debra Kaufman, 60, is desperately searching for a kidney donor for the second time. Photo Credit: Debra Kaufman

A Morris County mom’s life has been “turned upside down” after she said she is desperately searching for a kidney donor for the second time.

Debra Kaufman, 60, first developed end-stage renal disease after suffering from a related issue during her pregnancy several years prior.

“I developed pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and was hospitalized for five weeks prior to delivery,” Kaufman recalled of the 1985 birth of her son, Bryan. “This condition led to end stage renal disease eight years later.”

After undergoing several months of dialysis, Kaufman, of Denville, received a kidney donation from her sister, who said she was a perfect match.

“We had our surgeries on October 27, 1993,” Kaufman said. “Everything worked perfectly for 24 years and my sister has had no ill effects.”

All was well until 2017, when Kaufman underwent an angiogram in preparation for a cardiac bypass surgery.

“The dye from the angiogram is unfortunately toxic to the kidney,” she said. “As a result, my heart condition was addressed, but my kidney failed.”

Since then, Kaufman has had to undergo home hemodialysis treatments four times a week for four hours at a time — just to stay alive. She is quickly losing strength needed to perform everyday abilities, she said.

“My life has been turned upside down,” she said. “I used to be active with friends and family. We loved to travel. This has become exceedingly difficult because our lives revolve around my dialysis treatments. Everything we do has to be planned around the treatments.”

Kaufman says Allan, her husband of 39 years, has been tested to determine donor eligibility, as has her son — but neither are a match, and she has no other siblings.

Kaufman’s case is more complicated than usual, she says, due to her two pancreas transplants and Type-1 diabetes.

“My life can return to normal if there is an angel out there that would be willing to provide this gift of life,” she said. “I am a very compliant person, and your gift would be well protected.”

Potential donors can be screened for free through Kaufman’s insurance and Renewal, an organization that advocates for kidney donors.

She is also holding a Zoom session for those interested in learning more about the donation process. The meeting is scheduled for March 18 at 7:30 p.m. The Webinar ID is 832 8575 4949 and the passcode 018070.

To learn more about becoming a donor through the National Kidney Registry, click here.

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