'Giving my kidney a send-off:' Jacksonville woman starts a kidney donation chain stretching to 9 people

Jennifer Tamol hugs a plush kidney doll given to her by a friend. Tamol has returned to her position as advancement manager at Lutheran Social Services, after donating her kidney to a stranger. Non-directed altruistic donors like her make up only about 4 percent of all kidney donations.
Jennifer Tamol was plenty nervous the evening before she went to the hospital to donate one of her kidneys to a complete stranger, someone in Minnesota who was awaiting his or her chance for a new, better life.

The operation, though, was not what worried Tamol: It was the prospect of playing her cello in St. John’s Cathedral downtown with the Civic Orchestra of Jacksonville. It’s a new volunteer group, and this was its first public performance.

She needn’t have worried. “The Light Cavalry Overture” got the orchestra off to a rousing start, and it did just fine on short pieces by Bizet and Beethoven.

As people left the church pews to congratulate the musicians, her husband, Jim Tamol, stood up. “She was nervous about this,” he said. “Now this is over, she can start to worry about that.”

“That,” of course, being the kidney donation. Continue reading
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