Learning your diagnosis is arguably the one of worst experience in lifetime. Fortunately, end-stage renal disease is not by any mean an end and there are many treatment options that ESRD patients have.
The National Kidney Foundation (https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors/looking-for-living-donor) recommends ESRD patients to be evaluated for kidney transplantation. This can be done at the closest transplant center. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (https://www.srtr.org/reports-tools/program-specific-reports/) maintains databases of all transplant centers in the nation together with their patient outcome statistics.
Once you were evaluated and deemed fit for a transplant, few important decisions will have to be made. Should I stay on dialysis or get a transplant? Should I accept a deceased donor kidney or find a living donor? How do I find a living donor?
Hemodialysis is a life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage chronic disease. It’s purpose is to sustain a patient with failed kidneys until a donor is found for kidney transplantation. Kidney transplantation is by far superior to dialysis in terms of quality of life and long-term outcome. Scientists at University of Michigan (Click here to learn more) showed that even accounting for variability in health conditions, patients after kidney transplantation had better survival compared to patients on the transplant waiting list. Dialysis is exhausting the body, whereas transplantation quite literally gives a patient new life. Patients with end-stage renal disease should strive to find a donor for transplantation so they can end dialysis treatment as soon as possible.