Three sisters share unique bond — all have been kidney donors

Newbury Port News | Jim Sullivan

AMESBURY — Sisters Cathy Toomey, Sue Deorocki and Terri Doerfler bonded in a new way last week when Doerfler joined her two older siblings as a kidney donor.

“I guess we had too many,” Toomey said.

The three sisters began their journeys into the world of kidney donation almost 16 years ago when Toomey’s son Sean was stricken with the autoimmune disease vasculitis that was destroying both of his kidneys.

“I saw my son go through hell,” Toomey said. “He ended up on dialysis in 2001. So he was only 21 years old and had to drop out of college and move home. He was very sick for two years.”

All three sisters tested positive to be donors for Sean at the time, but it was Toomey who would go into surgery when her son was deemed healthy enough to receive her kidney in 2003.

“I pulled the mother trump card and made the donation,” Toomey said. “It is a pretty significant surgery. The kidney is buried way out in the back area. In the olden days, they actually had to remove a rib to do it. Now the only thing you can’t take anymore is ibuprofen. You don’t notice it at all. You absolutely cannot tell that you are less a kidney.” Continue reading