Cowlitz 2 firefighter donates kidney to local woman

Photo:  Bill Wagner

Dana Clayton has known for decades that she’d need a kidney transplant some day.

The 44-year-old Kalama woman was diagnosed nearly 20 years ago with polycystic kidney disease, which causes cysts to form on the organ and, over time, compromise its function.

On Monday, Clayton received a long-awaited transplant at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland from her best friend’s husband, Brad Yoder, Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Firefighter/EMT. She’d been on the transplant list since November, when her kidney function dropped to 18 percent.

Doctors originally told Clayton it would take years to find a matching donor. She was one of nearly 122,000 people nationally waiting on the organ, according to the National Kidney Foundation. More than 3,000 patients are added to the waiting list each month, and the testing of potential donors takes months.

But Clayton was fortunate. Yoder immediately offered to donate his kidney. He quickly moved through the testing — what takes most people six months took him four. This past spring, doctors discovered his kidney was a perfect match. Continue reading
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