Monday, October 25, 2010

A MUST see TV show.

Tomorrow night, Tues October 26th on HDNet, 9:00 Eastern Dan Rather reports on Kidney Paired Donations, the positive impact the National Kidney Registry is having, and on Melissa Clynes transplant journey.

Here’s some background information. Melissa, now 18 had a heart transplant when she was 10 days old. When she was 13, Melissa needed a kidney transplant and her mother, Mary was her donor. Five years later, one year ago, Melissa’s kidney was failing and she needed another kidney transplant. As a result of the previous 2 transplants, Melissa was highly sensitized, meaning she developed antibodies that would significantly limit the number of people who would be able to donate to her. Melissa’s sister, Sarah wanted do donate, but was not compatible.

This past February, Mary Clynes' participated in one of the Living Kidney Donors Network webinars, “Having Your Donor Find You.” After the webinar, Mary contacted me and asked for help. We spoke many times and I educated Mary about the options that were available, one being paired kidney exchanges. I encouraged her to contact the National Kidney Registry.

The National Kidney Registry was able to “match” Melissa with an altruistic donor that was working with the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL. Within a month, Melissa was one of the first transplants in what Loyola called a “Pay It Forward” program. Five months later, true to her commitment at the time Melissa received her kidney, her sister Sarah returned to Loyola and donated a kidney in the continued “Pay It Forward” campaign.

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