Dear Western Community,
This is a challenging letter to write, Bruce Byrd (‘79) has been living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) since graduating from Western in 1979. His kidney failure was caused by an autoimmune disease known as IGA Nephropathy. IGA is not curable, but it is treatable by dialysis or kidney transplant. With End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) he has two options to live, long term dialysis or another kidney transplant. Bruce is currently being treated on hemo-dialysis 3 days a week for 4 hours of treatment each day. Bruce could use a kidney transplant sooner than later. Bruce’s family has been tested, due to different blood types there are no matches. One option is a cadaveric (heart beating brain death) donor, unfortunately the current wait in Colorado is anywhere from 4-8 years, and there are currently 1,850 people in Colorado waiting for a kidney transplant.
We wanted to spread the word through the Western community. Perhaps someone might possibly consider a living kidney donation or know someone that would consider the “Gift of Life” via live kidney donation. Bruce has been a major contributor to Western over the years. He has also hosted several events recently in Grand County at Pole Creek for our Golf tournament. It was a big success!
One thing Bruce mentioned to me, is that your or someone’s kidney donation application information is entirely confidential. A potential kidney recipient will not know that you have applied at any time, until you decide the time is right. At any time, you will always have the opportunity to be removed from the kidney donor qualification process.
If you or someone you know might be willing to be tested as a possible donor, the first step is to go to the Anschutz UC Health Website then go to Living Kidney Donor Program Page and complete the online form for Living Kidney Donation. A person from UCHealth Kidney Transplant will contact you within a couple of days. To complete the form use Bruce’s name his date of birth.
Name of Recipient- Bruce Byrd
Date of Birth- May 15, 1956
Bruce’s Blood Type – O+ (Having the same blood type is best, but not totally necessary via Pair-Exchange and New Technology)
Bruce has endured a lot over the past 41 years and most of us did not really know how serious his situation was. He has had 2 previous and remarkably successful kidney transplants over the past 31 years (17 years and 14 years). He now needs another one. He is currently being treated through Hemodialysis, 3 days a week and 4 hours day.
Thank you for your consideration.
John Franzman (’80)
Western Colorado University Alumnus