Content © Lisa Simpson. 2016 © Copyright:

Lisa Simpson Needs a Kidney


Dear Donor:


I am thankful that you are taking the time to read this plea. While I try to keep a level head and cheerful demeanor, I am confronted with what seems like an overwhelming situation, making it hard to keep my head above water—kidney failure. I am trying to deal, in the best ways possible, with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). I have a great nephrologist (kidney doctor) and compassionate therapist, a supportive husband, and a small but loving group of friends and family.

I’m coping as best I can and am preparing for at-home hemodialysis (HHD). In order to prepare to do that successfully, I have had a series of surgical procedures on my arm. In January, I had two surgical procedures on my arm to get it ready. In addition to my health issues, I am assisting my aged parents as much as I can. My mother is 90 with dementia and my father is 88 years old.


The truth is that I had expected life to be different for us at this time. And I say “us” because having kidney disease and being on dialysis affects my husband almost as much as myself. We were supposed to travel and volunteer in our community. We are hoping to be helpful grandparents when the time comes. Instead, I am growing weaker as a result of this disease. Soon I will begin hemodialysis treatments six days a week, for four hours each time because hemodialysis is one of the only modalities capable of keeping me alive until I receive a compatible donor.

I have chosen to do hemodialysis at home because the health outcomes are better with more frequent dialysis and only home hemodialysis allows for more frequent/daily dialysis. It will be like having a new job with a lot of responsibility but I feel up to the challenge.

I have accepted this outcome because it is a lifesaving treatment. But it is very disheartening to think I may be on dialysis, this very time consuming treatment the rest of my life, while waiting as a number on a list with more than one hundred thousand other people who like me are hoping for a phone call saying that a compatible donor has been found. This is why I am applying my remaining energy toward finding a donor on my own. That is why I have uploaded this page. I did it to find you. I did it to share my story with you and I hope that you will tell me about your life.


I have a beautiful daughter who is 29 years old. When I found out I have PKD four years ago and shared the news with her, she immediately offered to give me one of her kidneys. I was deeply touched by her offer, but I declined the offer as I felt it wasn’t right as she hadn’t had children yet and I didn’t want her donating a kidney and then having health issues with a pregnancy. But she went and got herself tested anyway and found out that she too, inherited PKD although it is in the very early stages. I’m hopeful that in the years to come there will be much better treatment for my daughter and other people her age with PKD by the time they are old enough to be affected by it.

To date, I have had two family members go through the donor process (including my husband and brother) and three dear, kind friends who went through the process but none were accepted.

You may want to know what happens if you decide to be a living donor so let me tell you. I am most fortunate to have excellent medical insurance, and my insurance will cover all the costs for myself and any potential donor. Together we would undergo tests at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to determine our compatibility. Afterward we would go through a safe medical procedure that has been conducted tens of thousands of times. In the end, I will be the recipient of your life saving gift and you will join a noble group of healthy people whom we so lovingly refer to as living donors. Together they are responsible for saving the lives of countless individuals. And by the way, if any person who donates a kidney has any health issue with their remaining kidney, that person then goes to the top of the transplant list. And it doesn’t matter if your blood type isn’t compatible with mine, since nowadays there are several ways to deal with that as well.


If you have it in your heart to be a lifesaver, please contact me as soon as possible as I sincerely need your help. I promise you I will do my utmost with such a gift, to work to make the world a better place with the remaining time I have left.


Very Truly Yours,

Lisa Simpson