Sharon by a waterfall at Maui, Hawaii

Hi there,
My name is Sharon Foley and I need a kidney. I’ve created this website to tell my story in the hope that some special person out there will see it and be moved to help, either by learning about the donation process or by helping to get the word out.

I am the youngest in my family of origin and have close relationships with my siblings. At age eighteen, I entered the Sisters of Mercy and continued my vocation with them for twenty-nine years. During that time, I taught first grade at St. Mary’s Academy Bay View and St. John’s School in Attleboro.

In the 1980’s I studied at Assumption College and Simmons University and obtained my licensure as a clinical social worker. For eighteen years, I served as a school social worker for the East Greenwich Public Schools. In addition, since 1995 I have maintained a private practice as a psychotherapist and continue that work today.

Sharon with children, 1969

Just before Thanksgiving last year, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, stage four. I was shocked because I had no symptoms that indicated I had this disease. Evidently my kidneys were damaged years ago most likely from a medication I was prescribed from age 27 to age 47.

Currently, my kidney is functioning less than 20%. I am now diagnosed in stage five and will need to consider going on daily dialysis or having a kidney transplant in what is described as “preemptive” surgery. My nephrologist (kidney specialist) recommends that I consider having the kidney transplant before my condition becomes more critical. I’m hoping to avoid going on dialysis. The doctors cannot identify an exact timeline for when I will need an intervention. They do, however, recommend that I find a living donor.

reading poetry
Reading my poetry at Porter Square Bookstore in Cambridge, MA

Waiting for a deceased-donor kidney to become available is not an option for me because the wait time is 7 or 8 years. My blood type is O positive. There is a longer waiting period for people with O positive blood type. The ideal donor would match me in blood type.

A living donor must be 18 years of age or older, be in good physical and mental health, and have normal kidney function. If a donor is identified who is not compatible with my blood type, there is a possibility that the donor could participate in the Kidney Paired Donation Program. This program pairs recipients and donors so that my donor may give to another recipient, and that recipient’s donor may give to me.

My family and friends
Jean, Jane, Eileen
With Social Worker Friends: Jean, Jane, and Eileen

The nephrologist who evaluated me through the Rhode Island Hospital Kidney Transplant Team suggested that it would be best for my donor’s age to be from the 40’s through the 70’s. To evaluate if a donor is a match, the donor takes a simple blood test: a blood tissue type. The donor’s blood and the recipient’s blood are then mixed to see if they are compatible.

I have completed all medical tests required to assess if I am a candidate for a kidney transplant. As of 10/25/2022 I have been activated on the Rhode Island Hospital Kidney Transplant List and have been accepted as a candidate for the transplant surgery.

TED Talk: Confessions of a Kidney Donor

The ideal donor for me would be type 0 positive

Are you a possible donor? Call RI Hospital Kidney Transplant Center at 401-444-8562