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Kidney Donation has been canceled


PLEASE, Read below, Thank you!

Hello !

        During our recent visit to Lehigh Valley Hospital, January 17, for a diagnostic test to be put on the kidney transplant list, they discovered Don has bladder cancer!  During the second day of recovery, Don suffered a heart attack from the excruciating pain he was experiencing from the bladder 'scraping' he had done. On the 11th day, we went home for Don to recover from being extremely anemic, decreased kidney function, the heart attack and the bladder trauma.

        I am happy to say, after diet changes, lots of water and rest, he is doing great.  In the meantime, we contacted Memorial Sloan Kettering and have since been to their facility and had a second bladder scraping.  A third scraping is scheduled in April and then treatments will begin.  The cancer is considered Stage 1/2, difficult to determine if it has penetrated the muscle wall.  

         We still welcome guests to the store and to visit with the alpacas.  All we ask at this time is you call ahead to be sure we are available.

          Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts for Don. 


    Don and I want to update everyone on his recent health adventures. Many do not realize, Don was diagnose in 2012 with polycystic kidney disease.  Something he learned his older sister had after she passed.  Just as it states, both his kidneys have cysts which are occupying the space where the kidney needs to filter his blood. He has been fortunate since 2012, in the fact he has not had the back pain from cysts rupturing and only once, last year, we had to go to an emergency room since the ruptures caused a massive flow of blood in is urine for half a day. 

    When our kidneys filter, the GFR rate is usually 60 or greater.  Don was running for years at 32.  Recently, his rate has been decreasing and is now at 14. This low filtering rate has now triggered doctors to get him ready for dialysis and possible kidney transplant.

    At this point, we are working with folks at Lehigh Vally Hospital outside of Allentown and started the procedure for a kidney transplant. What a massive complex this hospital is! We spoke with many folks starting with the nurse who is assigned to Don.  So many questions asked, dates needed, procedures done in this one day.  We first spoke with the Nephrologist, who also examined him, Dietician, Financial Advisor, Social Worker, Live Donor Advocate, Pharmacist, and Surgeon, who also examined him. Then a short walk to where Don had a chest Xray, EKG and blood taken (35 vials!). Needless to say, this group is very thorough!  Their initial look at Don, shows he is a likely candidate for a kidney transplant. We are now actively reaching out to people who may be interested in being a live donor.  Statistics show an average of a 5 year wait for a deceased donor and when a live donor is available, within a year the transplant can be accomplished.  

    I am only going to mention a few things for live donors………..there is no cost to the live donor and any medical attention needed afterwards because of the procedure is also covered.  There is no need to worry about blood type, etc. they deal with all of the items to get the best match.  The only upfront items are, people with diabetes do not qualify and you need to be 18-70 years of age.

    We would like your help with getting the word out.  The choice to be a living donor is just that, your personal choice.  If you can help get Don’s story out there and those people interested in donating, call……the larger the pool of people the better chances for the best match! 

                           If you can help in any way, we greatly appreciate it!


                                                        All the Best, Don & Catherine Hines

                                                             Alpacas of Sunshine Farm


The Living Donor phone number for

 Lehigh Valley Transplant Hospital is :


                610-402-8506   Option # 5 

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