– Allison Goldsberry
Retired Medford cop Bob Rockwell has been living with chronic kidney disease for thirty years, almost as long as he has served as a patrolman.
The Medford resident, whose son will be joining the Marines, started his career in Stoneham before joining the Medford Police. Rockwell spent nearly four decades as a cop.
In recent months Rockwell’s kidney disease has worsened to the point that he is preparing to begin dialysis. While regular dialysis treatments can be effective, his doctors say his best option is a kidney transplant. Transplants can come from both deceased and living donors but the wait list is long. Due to a national shortage of organs, it can take eight to ten years to receive a kidney from a deceased donor.
Rockwell’s transplant team is hopeful he will find a living kidney donor. A living donor would help Rockwell get off dialysis and receive a transplant sooner. Living kidney donations also usually last longer and function better than those from deceased donors.
Donor surgery is done laparoscopically (through tiny incisions), so the hospital stay and recovery period are relatively short. Everything would be cover by Rockwell’s insurance. A separate team of health professionals evaluate living donors to help them understand the risks.
Most people only need one functioning kidney and healthy individuals are encouraged to consider becoming donors. Anyone interested in becoming a donor must first fill out a health questionnaire that asks basic questions to determine if donation is an option. The questionnaire is entirely confidential and can be found at http://www.livingdonortufts.org/.