Healthy Living

Sep 13, 2010 3:48 PM by Carina Corral

Kidney transplant support group helps locals stand the test of time

It can be an agonizing time, waiting for a kidney transplant.

More than 80,000 Americans are on that list, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

There is a local support group that is helping some to stand the test of time.

" June the 24 it was 20 years that I've had this kidney. And I told God, if you help me keep this kidney, I will help all the people that I can," said Belle Bowdish, who kept that promise.

She is the president of the Central Coast Kidney Foundation Support Group.

" When you hear about people getting transplants, you get hope," said Isaac Wollman, who at age 29 has been on the waiting list for nine months.

This surfer is inspired by people like Pamela Hurt who said there *is life after transplant and she would know, she has had three. " I'm able to hike, go to the gym I can do anything I want, I have no limitations."

It is during dialysis, while they are waiting for that life changing call, that it gets tough. They use words like isolated, depressed and abnormal to describe it.

It is at the support group they can talk to those who can relate.

" Talking to the doctors and nurses are one thing but talking to people who have gone through it or went through it, that meant a lot," said Gwen Munden, whose husband Larry gave her a kidney five years ago.

They said it was like hitting the lottery.

Now, Belle's mission is that others get to enjoy life's riches, too. "Why send your organs to heaven, when heaven knows we need them here."

If you are going through a similar situation and would like a shoulder to lean on, the support group meets the first Saturday of every month at Saint Steven's Church in San Luis Obispo.

Click here to learn more.


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