Do you remember this smiling face? I wrote about Istiak in my post: https://joycebowen.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/am-i-a-racist/.
Oftentimes, I would go into the convenience store, and there would be a scowling Istiak behind the counter. I cajoled and smiled, and finally found that smiling Istiak so prominently depicted in these pictures.
Being rooted in the mind of a journalist, I poked and prodded Istiak’s personality until he finally revealed a secret. Istiak is on Dialysis. His kidneys have failed. He had had untreated high blood pressure, and it has taken his kidneys. Now I understand the difficulty he experiences upturning those lips into a smile. I suspect he is tired far too often. He’s been on Dyalisis for two years.
Ali Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee wrote a buzz that was conducive to caring—how it helps to take a moment—pay attention—and care. I tried to find it and failed miserably. Dude—you are just so prolific with your mind-bending Buzzes.
I’ll let Istiak introduce himself:
My name is Istiak Ahmed, and my date of birth is May 20, 1992. I was born in Kushtia Bangladesh. I came to the USA on an immigrant visa. I became a USA citizen in 2015. In May of 2015, my kidneys were found to be damaged by high blood pressure. I am on dialysis now and am on the Kidney Transplant List at MGH. I do dialysis Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Salem, Massachusetts Dialysis Center.
Istiak on Dyalisis
Istiak’s–Issy, I call him–email is [email protected]
His phone number is: 617-5945-1836
There are over 80,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list – and many people wait more than 5 years for a kidney from a deceased donor. The waiting list has doubled in size over the past 10 years – and it continues to grow. Millions of dollars are spent to encourage people to register to be an organ donor in the event of their untimely death. However, only 1% of the deaths result in organs that could be used. Even if all of these organs were able to be recovered, it would not alleviate the shortage. A staggering 4,500 people die every year waiting for a kidney transplant. Many of these individuals were good candidates for a transplant when they were first put on the waiting list.
Nationally, the number of living kidney transplants has decreased in each of the past 4 years. The programs currently in place have not been effective at increasing the number of living kidney donations. Information about living kidney donation is available from many sources; transplant hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations and numerous web sites. However, this information is either not reaching the people who need it the most, or does not provide adequate help. Equally important, there isn’t a program available that helps someone communicate their need for a living kidney donation to family members and friends. Fear of speaking about their need is one of the main reasons and hurdles given for not pursuing living donation.
My hope? Something magical will happen, and this will spread far enough through virtual reality for this young man to connect up with a kidney. I will miss his smile if I go into our neighborhood store and he is not there to complete my purchases. For him to face mortality at such a young age disheartens me.
For those of you who can – share away.
About the Author: Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker. Inquiries can be made at [email protected]