For this dad, donating kidney to son was a given

Florida Hospital transplant team and father and son talk about a recent kidney donation. Willi Torres, 49, donated his kidney to his son, Will, 27, who has an autoimmune kidney disease. (Naseem S. Miller)
Willi Torres has volunteered twice to be a kidney donor for his son.

The first time was more than five years ago, not long after his firstborn was diagnosed with an inflammatory kidney disease called Berger’s disease and needed a transplant.

Torres immediately stepped up.

“I think that it’s something normal. If you’re a real dad, you don’t think about it. You just do what you have to do,” said Torres, 49, a math teacher at University High School.

But doctors told him that he couldn’t be a donor, because his blood sugar was too high and he was overweight.

So his son, Will, who was 22 at the time, went on the waiting list and eventually got the call. He received a transplant from a deceased donor in September 2012.

Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organ in the United States. Most of the kidneys come from deceased donors, but research has shown that kidneys that come from living donors last twice as long. Continue reading

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