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The altruistic kidney donor chain
It is the brainchild of University of Toledo’s Dr. Michael Rees; he describes it as the gift that keeps on giving…..meet the never-ending altruistic donor. Dr. Rees says the real challenge is getting funding to pay for the donors to travel all over the country to donate. He has set up a nonprofit organisation to raise money for the programme.
It all began with a Toledo man who stepped forward to donate a kidney, just because he wanted to help someone. The recipient of that kidney in Columbus has a loved one who is simultaneously donating a kidney to a stranger in Florida. That recipient’s daughter is in Toledo to see if she can donate a kidney to a man called Ronnie Ridenour.
Ronnie Ridenour had kidney failure for almost 30 years and came to Toledo from Knoxville, Tennessee, to get a new kidney from Ethel. It’s Ethel’s mother who’s getting a new kidney in Florida. While Ethel couldn’t help her mom, she could pay it forward to someone else. Ethel Devine said, “Dialysis is horrible. It’s not a way to live your life, so to be able to get off dialysis and to move forward on your life is probably the best thing about all of it.” Although Ronnie’s cousin Melanie was willing to give him a kidney, she was not a match for him. So, later on, she will donate a kidney in another round of matches. Unfortunately, a final pre-transplant test showed that Ethel would not be a good match for Ronnie. However, another patient on the waiting list matched up with Ethel. Ronnie will go back into the system to find another match through the altruistic donor chain.
- Shroff S, Navin S. The altruistic kidney donor chain. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue NO.: 26 (Feb-Jun 2008)
- Shroff S, Navin S. The altruistic kidney donor chain. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue NO.: 26 (Feb-Jun 2008). Available at:
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- Keywords: Altruistic, Kidney, Chain