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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kindness passed on

San Angelo Standard-Times | Diane C. Lade
Sun sentinel/tns Heather Sherman (left) agreed in December to donate her kidney to anyone in need through the nonprofit National Kidney Registry. One month, five states and eight recipients and donors later, Jeff West (right) received the kidney at Cleveland Clinic Florida, in Weston, from an anonymous donor in Atlanta.
Kidney patients given new life by transplant chain

FORT LAUDERDALE — Jeff West, his kidneys failing, was dreading having to quit his job and spend years tethered to a dialysis machine. But shortly before treatments even began, the Boynton Beach man received an unexpected gift — a kidney donated by a volunteer whom he had never met.

It happened through what's called a transplant chain: a set of surgeries, stacked like dominoes, that depend on people willing to literally give a part of themselves to someone they don't know.

A growing trend in kidney donation, the coordinators of transplant chains say they aim to get kidneys to more renal patients, and do it faster. They also say they can sometimes make better medical matches than through traditional one-on-one donations between friends or relatives.

They do it by signing up hundreds of renal patients and their loved ones who are willing to donate to them but are incompatible because of blood type or other issues. These programs then use sophisticated computer software to generate new donor-recipient pairs between strangers. Continue reading
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