Archive for the 'Friends' Category

Two artists at a South Wales tattoo shop are affected by kidney disease and are doing a monthly fundraiser where you get get a kidney bean or other small tattoo for a low, low price, and the money all goes the Kidney Wales Foundation. Fun!



Adorable. Longtime friends from Cherokee, Iowa, describe themselves as brothers, like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Twins.” The little one gives the big one a kidney, and then they punch each other in the arm. OK, I simplified, but that’s the basic deal.



Today I got to talk with my co-worker’s sister, who just had someone offer to test for her so that she can have a transplant. Nice gal. I really hope it all comes together for her.

She found a crazy stranger, just like I was. I always tell people in need of a kidney that you just need one crazy stranger.

It’s been four years and two months since I gave my spare to a stranger in Brooklyn, NY. He posts photos on his Facebook page of himself doing what he loves, and it makes me really happy.

Was it a good idea to have a major organ removed from my body and given to someone I didn’t know? It was the best idea.



Nathalie Ouellette and Marc Lacroix had been tellers at the same bank for years. Each was married, and the woman in each couple needed a kidney transplant. Husbands’ kidneys didn’t match their own wives’, but then Marc and Nathalie got to talking. What if Nathalie’s husband was a kidney transplant match for Marc’s wife and vice versa? And they turned out to be right.

“It’s rather unique that they aren’t related and figured it out for themselves,” said Michel Paquet, Ms. Laflamme’s kidney specialist and the Quebec representative on the advisory committee of the national kidney-transplant registry. “Statistically speaking, the odds of it working are highly improbable. But it worked for them. If you set out to find your own donor like that, it would never work.”



After Tucson gun victim Christina Taylor-Green’s parents decided to donate her organs, it drew attention to the topic of kidney donation.

The Green Valley News profiled two kidney transplants. The first was a husband-wife kidney donation between Shelly and Danny Freeman. When Danny needed a kidney transplant after exposure to toxic chemicals, Shelly volunteered. Three years later, she’d do it all again.

“I feel great with just one kidney, too,” Shelly said. “I was tired following the initial surgery, but now it’s just back to normal.”

Doctor’s say Danny’s new kidney is functioning very well.

The second kidney transplant featured in the article went to Bobb Vann, an artist whose work hangs in the Pentagon and other prominent locations.

When it became known that Bobb needed a kidney transplant, 20 people offered to be tested. The best match was Roberta “Birdie” Stabel, who donated her kidney to Bobb in 2004.

“I really wish people would know what a great gift it is to donate an organ,” Vann said. “I still hear about people, some right here in the area, that were on dialysis for years and are still waiting for a kidney donation.”

Kidney donation is a great gift to everyone involved. The surgery to the donor is laparoscopic. Donors are in the hospital a couple of days at most, back to work in two weeks. But that’s just the physical.

As a donor, you will always have the memory of being involved in a profound and joyful human experience. Oh, and someone’s life gets saved, too.

Consider being a living kidney donor.



Sisters Sue Deorocki and Cathy Toomey have each had the opportunity to be living kidney donors. Cathy’s son Sean needed a kidney transplant when he was 21, and she stepped up. Years later, Sue, having seen everything Sean went through, donated a kidney to family friend Woody Cammett.

“I knew I wanted to help someone like that. It was a great experience and I couldn’t believe how good it felt to be able to do it,” Deorocki said. “Dialysis was awful. It’s no way to live. …

“I had seen what Cathy and Sean went through. I had just watched my best friend lose her son, who I was like a second mother to,” said Deorocki, referring to Holly Shay, whose son, Jordan, was killed in Iraq in 2009. “This was something I could do to help someone. …

She got tested to be a living kidney donor for Woody, but by then had decided she would donate a kidney to someone, even if she wasn’t a match for her friend.

“It was like therapy for me. I had people who thought I was crazy, but it’s not every day you get a chance to save someone’s life,” she said.

The kidney transplant surgery? No big woop, Sue says.

“People always ask if there are lasting effects, and beyond the tiny scars, there are none,” Deorocki said. “If anything, I’m surprised at how easy the whole process was.”

The kidney transplant was a big deal for Woody, though.

“The minute I was awake after surgery, I knew there was a difference,” he said. “You don’t realize how sick you are until you begin to feel better. I never really knew why I was so tired all the time, so cold. Now I have so much more energy.”

“Because of what Sue did, we can talk about the future again, and that’s something we couldn’t do for a long time,” Cammett’s wife, Marcia, said. “How can you ever thank someone for that? How do you say thank-you to someone who saved your life?”



Kristine Cvar and Eileen Burkholder are elementary school principals in the same district. Now they have even more in common. When Kristine’s kidneys failed, Eileen offered to be a living kidney donor.

“She just all of a sudden came and wanted to do something good – and this was something that’s hard to do, to give up an organ for someone else.

“It’s just very touching because it’s not someone I would have expected it from,” Cvar said, her voice full of emotion. “I was really blessed and fortunate to have her.”

Their other co-workers chipped in, too, donating their sick time so that Kristine could take off an entire semester to recover.

“Our school district family really stepped up in this situation,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Forehan. “To me, that’s what a family is all about.”

The surgery behind them, the women are back to regular life.

“I just feel normal – and I haven’t felt like this in a very long time,” Cvar said.

Now Eileen wants more people to consider being a living kidney donor.

“It’s worth it to save a life,” she said. “I wouldn’t have considered it if I didn’t have my faith and the belief that you should love your neighbor as yourself. This was me thinking that I could show Kris how much God loves her.

“A lot of times, people don’t do what’s right,” she said. “But on Aug. 3, I did.”

Read more:Transplant recipient back on the job after La Mirada school principal donates kidney – Whittier Daily Newshttp://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_17043236#ixzz1AqC1O6Sb



Pam Silvestri has been working in public relations on behalf of organ donation for the past 15 years. Through that, she met kidney recipient Jennifer Cox. Jennifer’s kidney from a deceased donor began to fail, and Pam had a big decision to make.

She got tested to be a living kidney donor for Jennifer, and they matched. (There are only a handful of factors in matching a kidney.) So she told Jennifer, who is also a co-worker at Southwest Transplant Alliance, not to worry about finding a kidney.

“I don’t worry,” Jennifer said. “God is going to take care of me.”

“He is,” Pam replied. “And he’s going to use me.”

Jennifer was speechless. “What do you say? I was just: ‘Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.’ “

Meanwhile, Jennifer and Pam are promoting two new programs at Southwest Alliance, an altruistic donor program and a kidney swap program. Both are excellent ways to increase the number of kidney transplants.

Good luck with the transplant and your new programs, ladies.



Jose Barrientos and Brad Tarrance teach together at an elementary school. They got to talking at a party, and when she learned that Jose needed a kidney transplant, Brad’s wife, Lindsay, offered to be a living kidney donor.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Barrientos said. “It was just, you know, an angel. Why we crossed paths? Maybe this was the reason.”

Their surgery is today. Crossing my fingers!



Schoolbus driver Bernadette Rodriguez knew what to do when she heard that fellow driver Jesse Gonzales needed a kidney transplant: She got tested to be a living kidney donor.

“It is really amazing what she has done,” said Jesse’s sister at a recent fundraiser to defray medical bills.

Bernadette  said, “I am really doing fine and feeling really well.”

Behind her was Gonzales who happily added he was feeling great and began hugging Bernadette and her husband, “These two “» are my saints!” It was apparent the pair was moved by the outpouring of well-wishers.