WLBW: The Kidney Donor’s Journey by Ari Sytner


Discover why someone would donate a kidney to a total stranger! 

After an unexpected year-long journey of exploring kidney donation, Ari Sytner became a kidney donor to save the life of a single mother of 3 children. The experience was so inspirational and transformative, that Ari revealed the entire journey in this first ever question and answer book, outlining the 100 questions he struggled with before deciding to proceed with his transplant and give the gift of life. The Kidney Donor’s Journey walks you through every stage of Ari’s process, from researching, struggling and telling his family, to testing, undergoing surgery and recovery. The book inspires readers to weigh the personal and ethical values of kindness and human life, while sharing a moving and uplifting tale of one man’s journey to make a difference in the world. 

Some questions include:
– How do I tell my family?
– How risky is the surgery?
– Who pays for the surgery?
– Can I back out if I change my mind?
– Will my insurance go up?
– Do I meet the recipient?
– Will I have to take medications forever?
– Can I still drink coffee or alcohol?
– How long will I be in the hospital?
– Can anyone be a donor?
– How long will I be in the hospital?
– Will I regret my decision later on?

Plus many more powerful questions and answers!

**Review Coming Soon!**



We Love Books Wednesday 4: Sliding into Love

Good morning, lovelies. Today’s We Love Books Wednesday is going to be a little different. I’m not highlighting an author or their novels, instead, I’m talking about my novel, Sliding into Love, and the man behind it. My novel is still a work in progress, but it doesn’t stop me from talking about it, or my reason for writing it. Five years ago, my father was diagnosed with Kidney Disease. Five years ago, I got an amazing idea in the form of a story idea to bring awareness to this disease. Kidney failure has ran in my paternal family for years, and I thought Sliding into Love would be an amazing way to show it. I’m not embarrassed that this disease runs in my family. In fact, I’m proud of it because it’s a part of me and my family. Kidney disease has made me aware of my health. Because of this disease, I know the signs and symptoms. I know to keep my sodium intake to a minimal level. I know the importance of drinking lots of water or increasing the protein in my diet. Speaking of increased protein, the man behind my novel, has reached his protein goal. After five long years of his protein going up and down, my father has finally gotten his protein to 4.0, which is a good thing. We’ve waited so long for this moment, so I couldn’t wait to share the news with you guys. Pictured below is the man, the myth, the legend; my father, in his Al Bumin shirt!

As always, please click here to learn about ways to help and donate to the many Americans whose lives have been impacted by kidney disease.













Awareness Tip #6: Education

Good morning, lovelies! As National Kidney Month comes to an end, I thought today would be the perfect day to share my final tip of the month; education. They say knowledge is power, right? Then what better way to gain knowledge by educating yourself? Although I have been sharing many awareness tips, there are still so many signs and symptoms to learn. Pay attention to simple things such as your urine output, listen to your body, and more importantly if kidney disease is something that runs in your family, get a kidney screening done. Just because National Kidney Month is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that we can stop educating ourselves, or ignoring what our bodies are trying to tell us.


Even though my blog will be returning to its regular content (with updates to come during Spring Break), I will still be sharing updates occasionally on my fundraising. Every penny counts, so I ask that you continue to consider donating here to help kidney patients around the world.

Awareness Tip #5: Living with Sick People

Good morning, lovelies. I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy with work. On top of that, I’m battling the cold from hell. I’m coughing, throwing up, my body aches, and I’m exhausted. It’s not just me though. EVERYONE in the house is sick, except for my dad. This situation leads me to today’s tip:  living with sick people.

When my dad was first diagnosed with renal failure, he was advised to stay away from sick people because his immune system was weak. Eating protein became a necessity to build up his immune system. The flu shot also became a necessity; not just for him, but for the family as well. And for a wuss like me, the flu shot wasn’t an option! Because I’m deathly afraid of needles, I always requested the mist; until last year. I faced my fears and got the actual flu shot. I also got a shot yesterday, so I guess you can say I’m starting to face my (needle) fears.

I know how important it is to keep people with weak immune systems safe, so today I’m sharing my knowledge. Here are five things dialysis patients need to keep near them when living in a house filled with sick people:

  1. Hand Sanitizer:  With everyone sneezing and coughing, hand sanitizer is an absolute must! For instance, my dad keeps hand sanitizer on him…he even keeps a bottle in his car.
  2. Lysol:  It’s important to make sure you Lysol areas where the sick people have been. For example, the sofas, bedrooms, the car, etc. It’s important to keep yourself healthy, and your loved ones will understand this whole-heartedly.
  3. Flu Masks:  These come in handy when you’re surrounded by people with the flu. Thankfully, we’re just battling colds here, but it’s always better to play it safe. These flu masks will help you stay protected, and keep away contagiousness.
  4. Minor Confinement:  It isn’t necessary to confine yourself completely from your family, but your health is just as important as theirs. My dad hasn’t really confined himself because he’s been playing Super Dad by driving us to our Doctor’s appointments, picking up prescriptions, cleaning, cooking, getting wet towels for us when we vomit, and he’s done all of this on his dialysis day. Did I mention he’s been a life saver?
  5. Cool air:  I know this is going to sound crazy, but keeping it relatively cold in your house is going to help fight off germs. Think about when you go to Doctor’s offices or hospitals. It’s usually cold in those places, so try to mirror that in your place.
As always, please click here to learn about ways to help and donate to the many Americans whose lives have been impacted by kidney disease.

Awareness Tip #4: ***** Day

Good morning, lovelies! I know my past few tips have been all business and NO fun! Well, today is going to be a fun day. Today’s tip is so good that I couldn’t even put it in the title!

Although I don’t suffer with chronic kidney disease, I understand the affects that it can have on you, mentally and physically. It’s a life-altering thing.

My dad worked outside, at the same job, for over 30 years. So having to stop working, and focus solely on himself and his treatments, was definitely a game changer for him.

You know what another game changer is? Having to change your diet in the blink of an eye. Especially if you’re a fan of foods that are high in potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. This leads me to my tip for the day:

Make sure you allow yourself a couple of cheat treat days every now and then. 

Now, notice I said a TREAT DAY and not CHEAT DAY, because if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, you’re not cheating; you’re treating yourself.

My dad learned about treat days very early in his diagnosis. How, you might be wondering. Because of his guardian angel of course. His older brother, Sherman, was on dialysis for about 9 years. When my dad got sick, my uncle was in the hospital as well (for non-kidney issues). They took dialysis together in the hospital, and made the nurses do double takes because they thought they were twins!

In the short time that my uncle was alive during my dad’s diagnosis, he taught him about treating himself, amongst other things. The last time my dad saw my uncle, he was taking his own advice by indulging in a honey bun. He passed away March 29, 2011, but his spirit still lives on to this day.

So, whether it’s indulging in your favorite meal, or snack, don’t think of it as a cheat. Think of it as a treat. Maybe you’ve gotten your report and found out all of your levels look good. Maybe you’ve finally reached your desired protein goal. Whatever the case may be, treat yourself. Your taste buds will thank you for it!

Photo Mar 15, 3 04 56 PM

Sherman & Ricky

As always, please click here to learn about ways to help and donate to the many Americans whose lives have been impacted by kidney disease.

World Kidney Day: Awareness Tip #3

Hello, lovelies. As promised, I am back with another kidney tip for y’all. Before I get into that, I would like to mention that yesterday made 5 years since my father has been sick. Today, which also happens to be World Kidney Day, makes 5 years of him being on dialysis. And just how is he celebrating this day? By being in dialysis, of course.

Photo Mar 09, 10 45 00 PM

Now, how about that tip? I thought about this long and hard. It’s like I have a lot of tips to share, but not sure which ones to share. I’ve already brought awareness to drinking more water (but less if you’re a kidney patient), as well as monitoring your blood pressure.

So without further ado, today’s tip is about medication. If you are a dialysis patient (or just for future knowledge), try to avoid medicine such as Aleve and Ibuprofen. These medicines, and more, damage your kidneys. My dad’s doctors have told him that Tylenol is the safest medicine for him to take. So, be mindful of the medicine you are taking.

Please talk to your primary physician to find out what medicine is the safest for you to take if you are on dialysis.

As always, please click here to learn about ways to help and donate to the many Americans whose lives have been impacted by kidney disease.