Kidney transplant recipient shares story of survival

WNYT


This is National Donate Life Month and that's got a former basketball standout and now coach sharing his story of survival.

"I plan on coaching for a long time," noted Jim Mextorf.

Mextorf made his mark on the basketball court in high school and then at Siena College. Even as he married and raised a family, went on to a career with the state, he kept close to the hardwood by coaching at Albany Academy for Boys. However, a litany of health problems came close to sidelining him.

Diagnosed in 1981 with Type 1 diabetes the disease ravaged him, his right foot was amputated, then two toes on his left foot. He had a brain aneurysm and two heart valve surgeries.

Then five and a half years ago, he began dialysis when his kidneys failed.

"When I was first told that my kidneys were failing I came to this gym and sat in the dark," he recalled.

WEB EXTRA: Jim Mextorf on kidney donor who saved his life

With no clear future, he clung to his doctors words that he was a great candidate for a kidney transplant. However, with no match among family for a living donor, his emotions were mixed. Continue reading

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