'There's a lot of information': Triangle women write Insider's Guide to Living Kidney Donation

CARRBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- March is National Kidney Month and two Triangle women are hoping a book they co-authored will help educate others about kidney donation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about thirty-seven million American adults have chronic kidney disease or CKD, most are undiagnosed.

Carol Offen, a Carrboro-based writer, and Betsy Crais, a UNC Chapel Hill Professor, have personal experience giving and receiving a kidney. Offen donated to her son fifteen years ago when a strep infection left him with CKD. Crais was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease while working on her Ph.D. having both kidneys removed in 2003, receiving a kidney transplant from a living donor colleague in 2004. Crais's kidney began failing and in 2021, she received a kidney and liver from a deceased donor.

The two women have written and published The Insider's Guide to Living Kidney Donation: Everything You Need to Know If You Give (or Get) The Greatest Gift.

"The first step is just education," Offen explained. "There's a lot of information about the evaluation for a donor and what to expect to simple questions like how invasive is this test?" Offen added.

Crais says she hopes the book provides a community for anyone touched by CKD. "We hope that this will be helpful for donors, for recipients for their families," Crais said. "And, really, I feel like strongly for the professionals who work with them."

The Insider's Guide to Living Kidney Donation is available on Amazon, at bookstores, and online.
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