Gift of a lifetime: Teacher gives colleague needed organ

TEACHERS TOGETHER – Bowie High School Teachers Ronnie Mund and Candace Mercer are connected by more than just work after Mercer donated her kidney to Mund in an operation that took place Tuesday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty
For nine years Bowie High School teacher Ronnie Mund lived with at or around 20 percent kidney function.

“You don’t really look like there’s anything wrong with you, but you just don’t have a lot of get up and go,” Mund said. “You don’t get rid of the toxins, so you’re tired and your joints hurt all the time. Little things get to be a challenge.”

Mund, a Slidell resident, has FSGS, a very rare autoimmune disease that attacks the kidneys’ filtering units, causing permanent damage or failure. Transplants are reserved for patients whose kidneys consistently function below 20 percent, meaning he couldn’t secure a place on a donation list.

“It would fluctuate on either side of it for several months off and on,” he said. “It finally got down and stayed down. I knew about two years ago. All of my kids are the wrong blood type. My wife couldn’t. None of my brothers or sisters could for medical reasons. I had two or three childhood friends of mine that had volunteered to do it and they couldn’t for medical reasons. Starting back on the second year of getting retested and that’s when it happened. Continue reading

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