Adventures of a Kidney Donor

December 31, 2010

Kidneys in the News!

Richard Herrick (left) Ronald Herrick (right)

I hope sometime in 2011 I will be walking around with one kidney and someone with three! I haven’t heard anything from the latest blood tests but I suspect everything slows down around the holidays.

The news has been full of kidney stories lately. The picture on the left shows the first successful kidney donor and recipient.  In 1954 Ronald Lee Herrick donated a kidney to his twin brother Richard. This allowed Richard to live for eight more years. Ronald died December 27 at the age of 79. His act of love for his brother not only extended Richard’s life, it led the way for successful organ transplantation in the US and the world. Read more.

In my area a woman named Deborah Fay McArthur sadly passed away unexpectedly just before Christmas. She saved six lives when her family donated her organs and a family friend

Deborah Fay McArthur

received a kidney. Deborah had not specified her wish to donate on her driver’s license but her family knew that is what she would have wanted. Be sure to talk to your family about your wishes and register to be a donor in Michigan or your state.  

CNN had a charming story about ten year old Vivaca Loyd. Her mother made a Facebook plea for a kidney for Vivaca and Cathy Olsen stepped forward as a donor. Vivaca is now off dialysis thanks to Cathy and her mother.

Vivaca and her mom

MSNBC ran some features on dialysis.  One talked about how some clinics are poorly managed leading to higher mortality rates for kidney patients at these facilities. Another story talks about how much dialysis impacts the life of patients. Most patients cannot work because it takes so much time out of their lives and it makes them very weary. Dialysis costs much more than kidney transplants in the long run. Dialysis costs $71,000 a year, anti-rejection drugs after a transplant cost $14,000 a year.

Last a weird story, the condition of parole for two sisters was for one to give a kidney to the other. The two sisters from Mississippi have spent 16 years in prison over an $11 armed robbery. Gov. Haley Barbour stipulated that Gladys Scott must donate a kidney to her sister Jamie after they are released.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation

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