Humanitarian plea from our sisters and brothers at Oregon AFSCME Council 75

AFSCME-75_01abNancy Sayan, the wife of former Council 75 (Oregon AFSCME) Director of Finance and Administration Mike Sayan, is in need of a kidney transplant. As Nancy’s condition worsens, the Sayans, who live in Vancouver, have gone public in an effort to find a donor match for Nancy.

Mike Sayan relates that Nancy has suffered for years from Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), a genetic disease. She lost her father and an aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother to PKD. She also has a cousin with the disease; he is doing well today because of a living donor kidney transplant a little more than 12 years ago.

Mike Sayan, who retired from Council 75 in 2006, says his wife has worked diligently through diet, exercise, and with doctors to delay the impact of the disease on her kidneys, but the disease has progressed to “Stage Four” which means she is close to kidney failure, possibly as soon as four to six months. The options to avoid Nancy’s death are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

While dialysis is an option and keeps an individual alive, existing at low kidney function, it is hard on the body and overall health will diminish. Dialysis does not provide for either a normal or healthy life. Therefore the Sayans are hoping for a transplant. There are two types of transplants — either from a deceased donor or a living donor. Nancy has gone through extensive medical evaluation and has now been active on the transplant list since the end of June 2014. The wait for a deceased donor averages three years in this area for her O-positive blood type. One concern about going to dialysis is that the longer Nancy would be on dialysis there is a very real danger that she would no longer qualify for the transplant list.

The best option for Nancy Sayan at this time is a transplant from a living donor. A kidney from a living donor lasts about twice as long as one from a deceased donor, and the medical process of a living donor transplant has vastly improved over the years. The prospective donor goes through an extensive medical screening — at no financial cost to them — and the donor again bears no medical financial cost for the transplant procedure itself. The donor is typically out of the hospital in as little as three days and back to normal activities within about five weeks.

The vast majority of living kidney donors live long, healthy lives, as your body can thrive with just one kidney. Donors do not have to be of the same blood type because there is a paired donation option (committed donors are swapped to improve compatibility with recipients) now available.

Nancy Sayan is hoping to avoid dialysis if at all possible. Mike Sayan is quick to note he would donate a kidney, but is ineligible due to his age and health status. Oregon AFSCME is therefore assisting the Sayans in getting the word out to find a living donor for her. Possibly you?

You can find more information about what it means to be a living donor at the following:

Legacy Health Systems transplant video:

Other transplant information:

National Living Donor Assistance Center:

Legacy pre-screening questionnaire:
Note: You need Nancy Sayan’s birth date to complete the pre-screening questionnaire: it is Dec. 23, 1953.

Margaret Marksthaler is the contact person at the Sayans’ transplant hospital (Legacy Good Samaritan) and can answer any questions about their living donor process. (503) 413-7349.

If you’d like to contact Mike Sayan directly, you can call him at (360) 256-5895 or via e-mail: He notes that “all thoughts, prayers — and kidneys — are welcome!”


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.