Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Strange Post on a review. A different and difficult subject!

Product DetailsI was sent a copy of this book "The Kidney Sellers" by Sigrid Fry-Revere to review. Why is it weird? Because it is a factual, non-fiction book that makes it difficult to know how to properly review it, so I will go with my normal format. 

This story is about Sigrid Fry-Revere trying to evaluate whether or not Iran, of all places, has solved their kidney shortage. The argument on whether the USA and the rest of the world should allow people to sell their kidney (Having two of them in good working order) to anyone that needs them, in return for compensation for the kidney. Sigrid, to achieve this, goes undercover as an Iranian woman. She does this without the knowledge of Iranian authorities. She collects first hand stories from the Sellers and recipients regarding kidney sales, not government propaganda provided to the public. 

Sigrid's venture into Iran forces her to follow the rules of a female Muslim. Being opinionated, it was hard for her to conform.

The story, along with her thoughts as she collects data, are very compelling and forthright. Honest in her assessments, giving the good and bad of the system in Iran. Near the end of the book she gives her opinion to the US government. She stated they needed a match for waiting kidney transplant recipients to shorten the time spent on dialysis.  Did you know that dialysis only removes 10% of the toxins from your body? I didn't know that!

In the overall writing of this story, it has good pacing with humor inserted in places. The characters are real people. She tries to explain and understand why a person would sell a kidney to someone, having major surgery in the process. She has to change the names of the Iranian subjects to protect them. In a few places, she bogs down in the story but then picks it up, allowing the reader to realize the Iranian people are just like people anywhere in the world, trying to make a life for themselves by improving their financial position in life.  

She gives you facts and places to research the information yourself. She calls upon all, to change our laws, making it easier to get kidney transplants. Cutting down on the time a person spends on dialysis. The success rate will be higher by allowing people to sell one of their kidneys. 

I especially like the part of the conversations with her friend Larry about the hope of a new kidney, he was so optimistic, believing a transplant would happen soon after starting dialysis. This optimistic attitude soon turned from positive to passive, finding life wasn't worth living on dialysis. Then it became clear he was not going to be given a transplant. No kidneys were available because he was too far down the list. Living on dialysis turned into no life at all, he made the decision to stop the treatments and stop living. His passing, to me, brought home the need for change in our laws. After reading this story and learning how renal failure can destroy and otherwise productive life very quickly, we should allow the purchasing of a kidney, legally.

My own personal experience was with a friend that went from a robust looking man, went to a bare skeleton in a short time. He was on dialysis but he was lucky, my friend Danny had a younger brother whom donated one of his kidneys. Months afterwards, Danny started looking and feeling better, although it has taken him a long time to recover and lose his gray pallor. He has since returned to work as an electrical linemen. After reading this book, he was one of the lucky ones. You should pick up your copy of this book and it will change your outlook on a lot of things. Including the way you view Iranian people. Here is a link to her book-  

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