From left to right: Lauren Carter, Ben Carter, Noa Carter, Aubrey Carter, Nash Carter, Amanda Carter, Mary Branscum, Cruz Carter, Christian Carter, Bonnie Thomson Carter, Amanda Cieslak, Bella Cieslak, Sebastian Cieslak. This is one of my favorite family photos, taken two months after being diagnosed with cancer and kidney failure. My husband Tom was not pictured because he was indoor recovering from colon cancer surgery.
March 16, 2022:
Read the blog below for an important update from Bonnie!!!
I need your help
My name is Bonnie Thomson Carter, former Lake County Board Member, former Lake County Forest Preserve President, and current cancer survivor. My remission is extremely good news and I’m grateful to everyone who supported me to reach that step. However, my battle to beat cancer has caused major issues in my health and I require a new kidney.
I am currently in an uncomfortable place where I need to share my personal story with everyone in hopes I am able to find a living donor to save my life.
In August 2019, I was diagnosed with Lambda/Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma, which resulted in an acute kidney injury. Doctors placed me on dialysis immediately while I went through six months of chemo, four stem cell harvests and tandem stem cell transplants.
The good news is the treatments worked as I have been in remission from cancer for a year. However, remission put me into kidney failure and I must remain on dialysis. My doctors said the life expectancy for someone on dialysis at my age is three to five years and my health will continue to deteriorate the longer I remain on dialysis.
I am on the kidney transplant list, but I remain inactive until I am in cancer remission for two full years. In addition, the waiting time to receive a deceased kidney from the transplant list is between 8 and 10 years. I do not have that long to live.
Due to this bleak situation, I am reaching out to anyone willing to become a living donor, to donate a kidney and give me the gift of life.
I want to live. I want to grow old with my husband Tom; I want to enjoy our children and their families; I want the joy of watching my 10 grandchildren grow; I want to live out the purpose of my life with my family, friends, faith and community sharing joy and laughter with others.
Doctors said the only way to get off dialysis and survive is to find a living kidney donor. A new kidney will completely give me the gift of life and will extend my life expectancy by decades. So, I am reaching out to anyone in hopes that someone will be able to give me the gift of life.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a potential living donor should reach out to the Northwestern Medicine Living Kidney Donor Program at (312) 695-0828 or www.nmlivingdonor.org. The phone call is confidential. People more comfortable reaching out to me directly can send me a message via email, phone or on Facebook below.
Please spread the word about my story. It's important to let the community know there is someone in need.
Thank you for listening and for helping any way you can!
Click on photo to see the entire picture
What is a living donor?
What is living organ donation? A living organ donation takes place when a living person donates an organ or part of an organ for transplantation to another person. In this situation, the living organ needed is a kidney, and is the only thing that can help.
People considering becoming a living donor may log in to the Northwestern Medical website at www.nmlivingdonor.org and fill out the questionnaire. People should also put my name "Bonnie Carter" in the patient line. A living donor advocate from Northwestern Medical Hospital will contact the donor to discuss the process and answer any questions before deciding to move forward with the testing procedure. The process is completely confidential and any medical required tests are paid for by my insurance.
This is a huge decision. I urge anyone to talk to a knowledgeable person and discuss this process with your loved ones.
I thank you for considering.
Here are some helpful videos
Here is a link to several other videos from Northwestern Medical that further explains kidney donations and answers several major questions: