On July 10, the Trump administration announced a plan to reduce end-stage kidney disease by 25 percent by the year 2030.
The plan includes doubling the number of kidney transplants in the United States, which comes as good news for Chubbuck woman Rindee Larson, who has been in need of a transplant for four years.
Larson had her first kidney transplant at the age of 16.
“It was really hard because it’s this time of your life that you’re supposed to be bulletproof. And I instantly wasn’t anymore,” Larson said.
After eight years of living with the donated organ, her body started to reject it.
Now, she’s one of around 100,000 Americans in need of a kidney transplant. The average wait time for a transplant can be five to 10 years.
“I’ve been waiting for four because I’m a really hard match. I have 93 percent antibodies which means only 7 percent of kidneys in the world will match me,” Larson said.
That’s why the Trump administration is working to make it easier for people to find donors. The plan includes increasing payments to people who donate kidneys and livers while alive, in order to cover the expenses of donating.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order allowing the more than 500,000 people receiving kidney dialysis to receive care in-home, rather than at expensive commercial centers where the risk of passing disease is higher.
Larson has been doing at-home dialysis since January.
“I have a lot of concerns with that because I’m very healthy and I have struggled so hard with this. I have a very supportive family and a husband and people who take care of me and help me,” Larson said. “I don’t know how somebody who didn’t have a support system like that would be able to do it.”
Her dialysis treatment takes her four to five hours every other day to perform.
“This isn’t it. This is every other day, but I have three doctors appointments this week. Living is a full-time job,” Larson said.
Despite the work that goes into maintaining her health, Larson tries to stay positive.
“Transplant, it’s the goal. It’s the thing that keeps me compliant. It’s the reason I do dialysis every other day.
“Otherwise, it would be easy for me to say I don’t want to do it today,” Larson said. “But every time I think that, I think I want a transplant more. I want to live more.”
An estimated 37 million Americans are affected by kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To find out if you’re a match for Larson or one of the other people in need of a kidney, the University of Utah offers a questionnaire.