I’m Doing This For Debbie 1/28/2018



Implantable Artificial Kidney Moves Closer to Reality
Written by Bob Curley on November 9, 2017

Scientists are developing an artificial kidney that can replicate the work of the real organs and potentially eliminate the need for dialsis.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), are developing an implantable artificial kidney that can closely replicate the functions of real kidneys.

If they are successful, the scientists’ work could help eliminate the need for dialysis.

Kidney transplants for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have a high rate of success.

About 93 percent of transplanted kidneys are still working after a year and 83 percent are functioning after three years.

But while more than 25,000 kidneys are transplanted each year, as of early 2016, more than 100,000 people were on the transplant waiting list in the United States.

Patients commonly wait five to 10 years for a suitable organ to become available.

Average life expectancy for dialysis patients is five to 10 years, although some have lived for decades.

However, dialysis — which filters out some (but not all) toxins from the bloodstream that would normally be eliminated by the kidneys — must be performed on a daily basis if done at home via peritoneal dialysis.

It requires three visits to a clinic weekly if performed via hemodialysis.

“The implantable bioartificial kidney is an alternative to dialysis and other externally wearable devices that would tether patients or limit their mobility,” Shuvo Roy, a professor in the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences and co-inventor of the device, told Healthline. “A live kidney transplant from a matching donor is still considered one of the best treatment options for ESRD, but unfortunately, there is shortage of organ donors that prevents transplants from being available to the vast majority of ESRD patients. Unlike transplants, our device will not require that patients be on immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection.”

Human trials of the device are about to begin.

Roy said the bioartificial kidney could eventually be used by the vast majority of the people now on dialysis and the kidney transplant list.

“This is a long-term solution, and any case where a kidney transplant is needed, our device will be a viable option,” said Roy.

How the device works
Roy leads The Kidney Project, a national research initiative centered on development and testing of a surgically implanted, freestanding bioartificial kidney that performs “the vast majority of the filtration, balancing, and other biological functions of the natural kidney.”

Powered by the body’s own blood pressure, the device does not require the external tubes or tethers associated with wearable artificial kidneys, such as that invented by Victor Gura of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. That device was tested on seven dialysis patients at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle in 2015.

The two-part implanted artificial kidney incorporates recent developments in silicon nanotechnology, which makes it possible to mass-produce reliable, robust, and compact filtering membranes.

The technology also has novel molecular coatings that protect the silicon membranes and make them blood-compatible.

“A hemofilter module processes incoming blood to create a watery ultrafiltrate that contains dissolved toxins as well as sugars and salts,” explained Roy. “Second, a bioreactor of kidney cells processes the ultrafiltrate and sends the sugars and salts back into the blood. In the process, water is also reabsorbed back into the body, concentrating the ultrafiltrate into ‘urine,’ which will be directed to the bladder for excretion.”

Patients with the implant may still be required to take hormonal supplements, however, as they currently do on dialysis, said Roy.

Development of alternatives to current treatments for kidney disease is “very important, since the outcomes of premature mortality and poor quality of life are common for the dialysis population, particularly for in-center hemodialysis,” Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, chief medical officer for the National Kidney Foundation, told Healthline.

The steps ahead
The Kidney Project is raising money to complete preclinical studies of the device modules and to build full-scale prototypes for the first round of human studies.

Initial clinical trials on the individual modules are expected to begin early next year.

Testing of a working prototype of the bioartificial kidney is slated for 2020.

“The long-term challenges center around keeping the device operating trouble-free after implantation beyond a few months,” said Roy. “Some problems won’t become clear until we do clinical trials.”

In addition to $6 million in government grants, the Kidney Project has received substantial donations from individuals in furtherance of its work to create an implantable artificial kidney.

“Their support is a testament to the acute need for a revolution in ESRD treatment, and the donations we have received are invaluable in allowing our research to progress,” said Roy.

In the future, scientists may be able to grow artificial kidneys.

In 2013, researchers, led by Melissa Little of the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, were able to grow a primitive kidney from human stem cells.

In 2016, researchers from the Salk Institute in California reported that they were able to grow nephron progenitor cells, which can differentiate into kidney tissue, in the lab.

Such research continues, but the ability to grow replacement organs remains a more distant dream than an implantable artificial kidney.



ealth News

I’m Doing This For Debbie 1/25/2018

Where Has All The Human Compassion Gone From In Society?

This post is going to be quite different. Yes, please don’t think for a single second that I have forgotten or that I am side stepping my cause here because believe me I’m not. 600,000 Americans have diseased kidneys in this country according to the National Kidney Foundation and of those 600,000 there are 300,000 in need of a kidney transplant within the next 3 years. Now since I was a little boy, I have seen our United States Of America go through many hardships and always do them alone and always survive them. I bet by now you’re wondering in your mind, “what in the world is Gerry getting around to, has he lost his marbles” No, I don’t believe I have, so here I go. Our country has always been known for taking care of itself. No matter what the crisis is be it earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist strikes, tornadoes, or floods. Whatever happened, we stepped up and took care of our own. We gave money, food, blood, anything that was needed to get past it, survived and moved on. Well here we are, there are an estimated 323 million United States citizens here at home as of July 2016 and 300,000 of them need living donor kidneys for transplants just to survive. So since we are the country in the world who’s well known for sucking it up and pulling up our big boy and big girl panties and helping our fellow Americans during times if hardship, then where is all the help in this life or death crisis. We need donors people, donors who are willing to give a part of themselves, not their cash or bank accounts. We need Donors who are selfless not selfish and who love and I mean really love and care about the human race. We need organs donors, kidney donors to be specific to make sure that these 300,000 survive and at least get a chance at life because believe me….after they get that transplant, that’s where their real fight for life begins for them. I have belonged to a Facebook group now for about 6 months. The name of it is “Kidney Support, Dialysis, Transplant Donor And Recipients,” this is a support group where everyone goes to ask questions and share information about all the issues they have had. And if you have any thoughts that after getting a transplanted kidney that it’s a walk in the park, just go take a look. The after affects and side affect of the transplant is really pretty unbelievable but everyone on that support page agrees 100% that a transplant be it a living or deceased donor beats dialysis hands down!

My wife Debbie, she is indeed the love of my life and my very best friend. My life as far as I am concerned is meaningless without her, and she needs an “O” blood type kidney. If Debbie does not get an type “O” kidney then she is going to die, it’s really as simple as that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But what you all don’t know is this, after Debbie Patterson and those 300,000 get their donor kidneys which believe me is the greatest gift and the most precious way anyone can show how much you truly love the human race. Life is so so precious. It must be, think about like this. Your kidneys are diseased and your going to die… period….but then God has provided man with the intelligence and means of prolonging life and setting aside death for a little while longer. God, I believe in my heart never intended for the dialysis machines to ever be invented. Think about it. God loved us so much he gave us 2 kidneys. 2 kidneys when in an average lifetime we would only need one. God knew in his infinite wisdom that we would certainly figure out a way to mess our kidneys up at some point plus it is his way to also bring people together and show that we as people still truly care and love each other when living organs are donated. Makes perfect sense to me if you think about it logically instead of financially. Yes death is inevitable at some point in life but not right now if you are a kidney disease sufferer. There is hope. Won’t you help, help somebody, if not my Debbie then Debbie and I are begging you to help somebody get off of those dialysis machines and back to a normal life.

I’m Doing This For Debbie 9/20/2017 FB Post


Inspiration can come from many places. I have had a few very bad days in a row concerning what Deb and I are having to deal with about her kidney issues. Last night on our way to watch our grandson play his football game we had a talk about some things concerning me and her disease and I told her that I have been doing a lot of thinking about a lot of things. When you drive a semi for 12 to 14 hours a day it gives you way to much time to dwell on life’s troubles and tribulations. I have broken down in the privacy of the cab of my semi tractor a number of times or the bed of my trailer and begged to God for answers and in the end I would just wipe my tears and shake my head, pick myself up and move on. You see my goal each and every day when I leave my home is to return to my home as quickly as I can so I can sit on our couch and hold her hand as we watch television or rub her feet. I used to get moved out of my seat by our cats when they were alive because they had tenure and how they loved sitting next to their momma. You see we bottle raised 4 of them at 2 weeks old when their momma died and we lost the last one just a few short weeks ago. She was 17 years old. But today, I broke down several times up in Gary Indiana, asked God what was the plan and if there was one and told him I was honestly having doubts. On my way home about 30 miles south of Gary Indiana a semi tractor trailer pulls along side of me and the drive holds up his CB microphone as he wants to talk to me. So I turn on my radio cause I am figuring I might have a problem with my truck or trailer, as in lights or tires or something like that. I said, “yes sir…how can I help you”. He says ” I just wanted you to know I fully support your sign on your tarp you have back there about your wife’s kidney issues. So we talked about it and I told him that I was totally doing all I could possibly do to find her a live donor cause it’s a 4 to 6 year wait for a deceased donor and dialysis is just not happening. I also told him that I got eliminated because of medication I take for arthritis and that I fully believed I was the one to help her. I told him that my faith was failing due to lack of reaction to my efforts. He said this….don’t ever give up faith….then another driver also said this….driver, I have seen your trailer and your tarp….tell your wife that there are prayers all over out here for her and you need to stay strong. Then out of the blue yet another different voice came out of the radio and told me that faith will be there when all else fails. Don’t ever give up ….never. I told him that he has no idea what goes on in my trailer and in the cab of my truck when I am alone….and that I will have faith until there is no need to have faith anymore. He said “Driver, you do whatever it takes for you to deal with this….we are all here for you. Well that’s all I could take….I broke!!!

I’m Doing This For Debbie 11/20/2017

It’s really sad when I have to come on my wife’s kidney transplant page and inform everyone of unfortunate information but once again, here I am. We really had our hopes up a couple of weeks ago when we got word that someone had made it through the phone interview with Kelly and now was going to do the actual testing to see if they would be a viable match. There was also an 18 year old student from IU who was also going to do the same, but her classes got in the way of the testing. But I must give her tons and tons of credit, at least she had the common courtesy to let us know what the situation was straight up. This other individual, not so much. They did nothing more than block us on Facebook, to prevent us from contacting them any further. The truth of the matter is this, 99% of these transplants are successful, 99 percent is better odds than any winnings the lottery, shooting successful free throws, winning football games, or even graduating college with honors. Well anyway here is the situation, we are back to square one looking for a living donor for Debbie who by the way is a perfect candidate for a transplant right now. I love my wife more than life and to see her have to go through this is the most painful experience I personally have ever endured. She is having pains with her kidneys and has had for a few weeks now so that doesn’t mean that days or weeks from now it will be that way because as her condition deteriorates she is susceptible to diabetes, stroke, aneurysms, heart attacks, and a whole laundry list of other issues. So and we are sincere when we say only if you are seriously considering donating a kidney to Debbie who is O positive blood type. Please call Kelly at the IU transplant center at 1-800-382-4602 and let her know that you have interest in donating to Debbie Patterson.

I’m Doing This For Debbie 11/5/2017


November 5th 2017
This was the very first post that I put out on her benefit page about a year ago. I decided to repost it and boost it to get more exposure.

It all happened one day in September 1999, I walked into work on Washington Street here in Columbus Indiana and little did I know that my whole life was about to change. She was short, dark hair with very dark eyes, was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a red sweater. From that day on Debbie Patterson owned my heart and soul like nobody in my past life ever had before. We went to lunch that day and she took me to her favorite place, Garcia’s and we still go there when we can even now. That first encounter was as natural as if I had known her my whole life.

We never run short of subjects to talk about. When we left the restaurant and walked back to her Jeep, I took her hand in mine and it was like magic. I don’t believe in physical contact on the first meeting so there was no goodbye kiss. A matter of principles and respect for the lady. So I had no real idea if she was interested enough or not in another encounter because I had a biker gathering that weekend. This was before I had a cell phone, but I did have a pager and unfortunately the pager had no signal out there in the middle of nowhere where I was. I did, however, remember that she bowled on Friday nights there in Columbus so I decided to go and surprise her. I walked into the bowling alley about the start of the third game (because I got lost on the way there) and she was pretty surprised to see me. I walked her out to her Jeep and this time….yes the goodbye kiss was definitely on the agenda.

Leaving was really rough and once again, I am not the pushy type so no plans were made. I rode back through Columbus that Sunday around 11:00am and stopped and called her. It was Hope Heritage Day weekend and her daughter Casey had a softball game. She asked me to accompany her, and I have been in Debbie Patterson’s life ever since. I have never in my life cared for someone like I do her and Casey with the exception of my own daughter Avalon. I knew in my heart of hearts that Debbie was my soulmate.

After she and her daughter met my little girl Avalon who was 5 at the time and she got to know her, it became evident that her heart was bigger than anyone person I had ever met in my passed. Avalon was having a really bad time in her situation back then. Debbie asked me straight up what WE were going to do about the situation Avalon was having to deal with at 7 years old living with her mom, I knew I had found my life long partner. Together she and I got parental custody of Avalon, and believe me when I say this that it wasn’t a bed of roses for Debbie to deal with a blended family.

It’s really true that when you find the right one, everything else is second and it all seems to fall into place. I asked Debbie to marry me that following Valentine’s Day and she said yes. Even though we had an 11 year engagement, I would not change a thing. We finally married on October 15th 2010 in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. You really know it’s the right person when a) you cannot wait to get home to them, b) holding hands is second day nature and always has been, and c) everyday seems like just yesterday and you never get sick of being around them and don’t want to continue your life without them under any conditions.

Before we got married Debbie went to our family doctor and it was time to have yearly bloodwork done. He found her kidney functions to be a little off, so he ordered an ultrasound. About a month later she was sent to a specialist where she was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. An incurable disease that slowly deteriorates your kidneys with benign cysts.

In 2010 and her kidney functions then was at 85%. Today her functions are at less than 20%, she is on the transplant list at IU in Indianapolis. Every 2 hours someone dies because they cannot get a kidney in time for their transplant. She is on a solid 4 year wait for a matching deceased kidney.

But hopefully someone in our circle will be a match. She is blood type O+, unfortunately I am blood type B+ so mine won’t do her any good otherwise if I could I would give her both of them.

She and I have talked and as soon as she has her kidney transplant, I am donating one of mine simply because it’s the right thing to do. It’s really hard to see someone you care so deeply about go through what Debbie is having to deal with.

There are so many aspects to kidney transplant. Insurance helps tremendously, but there are so many other things that insurance doesn’t help with. Travel to and from for checkups, loss of wages, parking, and other things that I cannot really think of. With us owning our own truck like we do, I have to park it and help take care of her for at least a couple weeks until she gets back on her feet and can get around. We have to make 4 bi-weekly trips to IU for checkups and each trip are 4 hours plus the 2 hour drive time.

So to be honest, we have no idea what or how fund raising works. We have created a Facebook page on Debbie’s behalf. I hope that everyone will get educated on the disease. Also, it will have all of the fund raising meeting dates and other pertinent information. I do know that Debbie and I are not to be involved any way so I guess it’s up to people we love, know, and trust the most and also people who just really feel the need to be there, do right by their fellow man, and want to help with this situation cause God knows we are going to need all the help we can get! So please re-post this and have everyone you know post it and keep passing it on because the more help of any kind we can get the better chances we have of making this work. Debbie is my life. I have no life without her!

Debbie does not believe in putting things on Facebook but this is something that is very important and a very do or die situation. Within the next day or so you all will be getting a special invitation to visit a special page that Debbie and I have created to inform all of you about the horrors of this dreaded disease.

If your are the least bit interested in helping Debbie out, please call Kelly at IU Transplant as she is the coordinator and be sure you let her know either when you talk to her or if you have to leave a message that you are interested in kidney donation for Debbie Patterson.. The phone number is…1-800-382-4602. She will do a phone interview and process all the info you give her to see if you are qualified. If by chance you are qualified she will send you a testing packet and give you the info as to how to proceed with testing to see if you are a match. Please, please, please share this post.


I’m Doing This For Debbie 11/2/2017

Well, here I go again posting something that will probably not do any good at all. I have tried every avenue that comes to mind to try and find a living donor kidney for my wonderful wife Debbie. Debbie has Polysystic Kidney Disease and its of no fault of hers at all. This disease is heriditary passed down through the generations. Time is running out on me finding her a suitable donor though, and when the worse comes to worse happens God knows I don’t want to have to bury her. Debbie is “O” positive blood type. As I stated in earlier posts that I have tried my best to give one of mine but I was shot out of the saddle over more than one non qualifying issue. First it was because I was “B” positive blood type and not even close to a blood match. Then I wanted to do the kidney swap program but I was eliminated because I take anti inflammatory medicine for my arthritis. Debbie and I have been together since September 21, 1999 and we have been married since October 15, 2010 so naturally I was hoping to be the one to make sure I spend the rest of my natural life with the woman I love more than life its self. If by some miracle we do find a match, of course the expense of the transplant operation for both Debbie and the donor are covered by our insurance company. I am posting some photos, If your are the least bit interested in helping Debbie out, please call Kelly at IU Transplant as she is the coordinator and be sure you let her know either when you talk to her or if you have to leave a message that you are interested in kidney donation for Debbie Patterson.. The phone number is…1-800-382-4602. She will do a phone interview and process all the info you give her to see if you are qualified. If by chance you are qualified she will send you a testing packet and give you the info as to how to proceed with testing to see if you are a match. Please, please, please share this post.