“…One day soon, multiple surgeons, donors and recipients will converge in Gainesville, and like a fine-tuned performance, an intricate ballet of donors and recipients, following multiple operations, lives will be changed. I am honored to be able to donate my kidney to help a stranger in need,to ultimately pay it forward just like the selfless donor family did for Brecon.”
UPDATE: You may recall the blog post I wrote a few months ago about a woman whose stepson had just gratefully received a long-awaited kidney from a deceased donor this winter in Florida. It indeed changed Brecon’s life, and now his stepmother’s kidney has just changed another young man’s. Stormi Murtie successfully donated her kidney to Justin in a paired donation earlier this month. (Justin’s wife also donated that day to get him into the paired exchange.) Like Brecon, Justin’s search for a kidney was all the more challenging because he reportedly had a 1% chance of finding his match. To everyone’s relief, Stormi was that 1%.
In addition to her regular responsibilities as a professor and researcher, Betsy has taken on numerous roles such as leading a professional association, mentoring students, writing for publication, and more.
Impressive with or without a transplant! It occurred to me that you’ve probably seen stories about athletes who are transplant recipients and have gone back onto the court (Alonzo Mourning went on to win an NBA championship) or singers who’ve gone back on tour or into the studio (think Stevie Wonder), or actors who’ve gone back onto the stage or film set (think Selena Gomez).
But there are many more professors, researchers, contractors, plumbers, lawyers, gardeners–people you pass unknowingly throughout your day–who have been able to lead a full, productive, and rewarding life thanks to an organ donor. It may have even been a living donor (Betsy’s first kidney transplant was from a university colleague friend) or a deceased one (Betsy’s second was a dual kidney and liver transplant from a deceased donor).
Organ transplants give recipients like my son, Paul, a second–sometime a third or more–chance at a full life. If you’re not already registered as an organ donor, please take a couple of minutes to sign up (at organdonor.gov or many other sites).