Archive for September, 2010

Catch the antics of Ms. Angela Stimpson over at her blog, OK Solo. She became a living kidney donor last week and lived to blog. Girlfriend gave up a kidney but retained her sense of humor.

My kidney girls the Flood Sisters are featured this week on the website Tonic. Since their dad needed and received a kidney transplant they’ve been doing what they can to seek living kidney donors for others. They found Dad’s kidney through Craigslist and have been coordinating transplants with living donors ever since. Their fourth transplant was just this month.

Tonic, indeed, in a sometimes uncaring world. Carry on, ladies.

Arlene Hoffman was Jane Delimba’s postal carrier when she heard that Jane needed a kidney transplant. She decided to get tested, and while she didn’t match Jane, she hung in there and signed up for a paired donation program.

Together, they facilitated four kidney transplants recently, and all eight participants – living kidney donors and transplant recipients – are doing well.

Congratulations to everyone, and thank you to Northwestern, whose paired kidney donation program is creating more and more of these miracles.

Sri Lanka has decided to loosen the rules about who can be a kidney donor. Previously, if this article is accurate, one could only receive a kidney transplant from a relative, living or dead. In fact:

It was earlier possible to obtain a kidney only from a relation, monk or a priest.

Love that.

Anyway, now cadaver kidney transplant and living kidney transplants from non-relatives are allowed.

Although my recent Facebook post pointing to a couple of eBay auctions has not borne fruit, Lynn Carnahan had a different outcome. His wife posted a note on her Facebook page saying that Lynn was being listed for a kidney transplant, and cousin Caleb thought, “Hmm.”

“As soon as I read it, I knew what I should do,” said Caleb. “I was up half the night contemplating the decision.”

He didn’t know Lynn, really.

“But, I knew him well enough to know he is a really good guy and he didn’t deserve to be sick from this disease. I thought, ‘How can I set back and not help a family member?’”

Poor Caleb ended up having “open surgery,” rather than a more usual laparoscopic technique. (It depends on your doctor and the placement of your kidney and blood vessels.) Nonetheless, everyone is recovering nicely.


If you need a kidney transplant, do everything you can to reach everyone you can. Try Facebook, try Craigslist, try everyone you can think of. The official list is your backup plan.

When David Chay’s kidneys failed, his wife, Sara, hit Google. There she found, a nonprofit site that helps people who need kidneys find people who want to be living kidney donors. Try that, too.

Tom Cavanaugh, a Los Angeles-based entertainment executive who worked on mega-hits like Avatar and television’s Glee, turned out to be a possible match. He volunteered to donate a kidney in honor of his father, who did the same, Nova reported. …

“We’re all walking around with this golden ticket that we can save someone else’s life, and I knew it was time to find somebody I can give that to,” Cavanaugh said.

David was impressed.

“To give his kidney to a stranger, over the Internet without even knowing what and where and when, I’m still trying to learn from him,”  said David Chay. …

“I’m always going to have a connection with these people,” Cavanaugh said.  “Especially when I look down and see my little scar on my tummy that it was for a good thing.”

“There are good people out there,” Sara Chay said.  “You shouldn’t lose hope.  You just have to look for the good people.”

“I didn’t want to die,” says Grizz Chapman, who plays a bodyguard on “30 Rock.” “I wanted to live. I wanted to be with my family and wanted to see my 11-year-old son grow up.”

The actor needed a kidney transplant, and a stranger in Arizona came forward. Although Grizz’s need got some publicity, the donor had never seen “30 Rock” and wasn’t a fan.

The living kidney donor didn’t want any publicity, but he and Grizz have become friends.

“We talk all the time, all the time,” says Chapman. “He just sent me some pictures from a wonderful trip he took, and I told him I was a little jealous. Next time he goes, I am going with him.”

Rollie Merriman had an organ donor card and planned to have his organs transplanted after his death, but one day he saw a TV commercial about organ donation and thought, “Why wait?”

“I’m a very blessed person,” Merriman said. “I’m 54 years old, I’ve lived a very healthy life. Well there’s somebody out there who isn’t. Two people a day out there die from not having an organ donation and I thought, ‘Well, one day there’s only going to be one. I’m going to help somebody out.’”

It’s more like 10 or 11, but the sentiment holds true. After seeing the commercial for organ donation, Rollie made plans to donate a kidney to a stranger.

Melanie, who had had kidney problems for years, was very appreciative, but a little confused.

“My first question to him was ‘Why?’ Because for somebody to give so unselfishly, you just don’t see that,” Hall said.

You’d be surprised.

Mel’s father was also very grateful.

The moment Merriman said he will never forget was his embrace with Hall’s father.

“For a father to come up and hug you and say ‘You’re saving a life,’ and the life you’re saving is his daughter, and he starts crying, if that doesn’t get you, nothing will,” he said.

I got nothing to add. Congrats.

Two days after their wedding, Kelley Agard donated one of her kidneys to her new husband, Rick White. In sickness and in health, indeed.

“She saved my life, she made my life worth saving,” says a smiling Rick.


Christy McGinnity started thinking about being a living kidney donor to a stranger about a year ago. She recently had the opportunity to meet the woman she helped, Regina Davis. Christy’s donation started off a kidney donor chain, since Regina’s daughter donated a kidney to a stranger in another city in return for the gift to her mother.

Christy’s decision to be a living kidney donor began with reading a newspaper article about Lauraleigh Devey, who needed a kidney transplant.

“I didn’t even finish the article,” McGinnity said. “I picked up the phone and called Johns Hopkins. I got caught up in the moment. I didn’t look at it as a big deal. It’s a kidney. God gives you two kidneys, and you can live with one.”

She didn’t end up being a match for Lauraleigh, but the hospital asked if she’d consider donating a kidney to someone else. She said, of course.

“It bothers me that I went 39 years without doing it. I could have helped someone years ago.”

A few months later, the hospital called to see if she would donate to Regina. She would. (In the meantime, Devey had received a kidney transplant from another stranger, in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, after the surgery, they had an opportunity to meet.

“We both looked at each other and the first thing we did was cry,” Davis said. “It was tear city.” …

“I feel very blessed that I could help her,” McGinnity said.

Regina is very appreciative, needless to say.

“Seventy hours a week I spent hooked up to a machine in order to live,” she said. “Will this change my life? Yes. I told [Christy] she is my sister, and I will always have a part of her. She’s given me a second chance at life.”

Congrats to everyone involved! Hope the chain keeps right on rolling.