Why Be a Donor?

Jessica Ferrato

“Every day, people die waiting for organs. It’s unfortunate,” says Jessica Ferrato, who is both a kidney donor and recipient.

“I think more and more people are realizing the importance of letting others know their intentions to be an organ donor.

“It’s important to put it on your driver’s license and to let your spouse and family know.”

Jessica’s organ transplant made a difference in the quality of her life as a young mom and business professional.

“With my disease, I ended up on dialysis. When you tell people you’re on dialysis they sort of look at you with a blank stare. They have no idea what it means to have this long procedure done three times a week—taking time away from your family and leaving you feeling tired and sick.

“I think if people understood how much you can change a transplant recipient’s life, they would see the benefit of being organ donors. It’s the amount of available organs that slows this process way down. I hope we can work together to fix that.”

Jessica’s work as director of government relations for a pharmaceutical company offered her still another perspective on the hope that a transplant can bring.

“Without a transplanted organ, I’m doing dialysis three times a week. And that’s an expensive process.

“Drugs for aHUS like Eculizumab, also known as Soliris, are very expensive,” she says. “I’m fortunate to have commercial insurance that gives me access to this medicine.

“There has to be a way for patients, who are less fortunate, to have access to medicines like these.

“When you compare the cost of dialysis, both in dollars and in loss of quality of life, to the cost of a transplant and use of these drugs, you have to take into account the value for the patient to enjoy a better quality of life.”

Read more about Jessica's story.