"Altruistic" organ donors can inspire chain of others to do the same

THE GAZETTE | Jacob Rodgers
Twenty-one year old Cody Maynard is helping to save a life with a gift of one of his kidneys. The Indiana University student and Air Academy graduate made an altruistic donation in February and is feeling well enough to hitchhike around Europe in the coming weeks. Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette
So Maynard, 21, went under the knife for someone he never wanted to meet - ultimately saving the life of an 18-month-old stranger. In doing so, he joined the growing ranks of anonymous organ donors - altruistic people who give one of their two kidneys to strangers, without even the prospect of a "thank you" from the recipient.

For the self-acknowledged pragmatist, nothing could make more sense.

"There are literally people dying," said the former student body president at Air Academy High School in District 20. "That's the most extreme consequence of someone not doing something."

The need for kidneys is extreme.

Across the nation, 97,724 people are on the list for a kidney transplant, and the wait time is usually more than five years for a transplant, said Anne Paschke, spokeswoman with the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the nation's organ transplant system. Continue reading
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