Monday, February 20, 2017

Man receives successful face transplant from clinic in Rochester

WQOW | Bridget Cuuran


Rochester (ABC News) - It is one of the rarest surgeries in the world, because of its complexity, and now, Mayo Clinic in Rochester is among the few successfully completing a face transplant.

In 2006, 21-year-old Andy Sandness was deeply depressed. As a result, he shot himself, knowing right away, he'd made a terrible mistake. Sandness survived, but his face was destroyed. Last year, he underwent a more than 50-hour surgery at Mayo, that used a donor's face. As a result, Sandness has a new life.

"I knew one day that I was normal looking,” said Sandness, “Because I hopped in the elevator. And I pushed my floor and I stepped back to the back wall and there was a little kid in there. And he looks over at me, and just looks straight back at his mom and doesn't say a word." Continue reading



Compensating Kidney Donors is Supported by Over 85% of US Adults as Reported by Acumen Health Research Institute

SAT PRESS RELEASES 


Compensating live kidney donors is supported by 85.7% (±2.0% margin of error) of adults in the United States according to a study by Acumen Health Research Institute (AHRI). The form of compensation varies. Most support compensating donors for all out-of-pocket costs. Others prefer offering the donor a fixed payment of up to $50,000, or providing them with additional health insurance to cover health risks following the donation. Such compensation would foster more equitable kidney donations, which are now primarily limited to those who can afford to pay these expenses up front.

The results suggest support for amending the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA), which currently prohibits compensation for organ donation. “Such an amendment would save lives and needs to be moved forward quickly,” said Amy Morlock, Managing Director, AHRI.

Patients waiting for a kidney suffer from significantly reduced quality of life and increased healthcare costs.(1)(2) Each day, about 11 people die waiting for a kidney and 13 become too sick to remain on the waiting list. Approximately 100,000 Americans are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. It is estimated that less than 20,000 of these patients will receive a kidney transplant this year.(3) Continue reading


'He was on death's door'

DAILY MAIL | Mary Kekatos

US teen, 15, who survived cancer makes incredible recovery after rare and risky heart-lung transplant to save his life

Long road: There are few hospitals in the US that perform pediatric heart-lung transplants. Spencer was turned down by most because his lung has almost become attached to his chest and the surgery was 'too risky'. Pictured on Halloween 2016, one month before his transplant

A 15-year-old boy is making an astonishing recovery after being the only person in America to undergo a heart-lung transplant last year.

Spencer Kolman, from Chicago, Illinois, was 'at death's door', according to his doctors, after waiting three years for a donor. 

He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease which scars the lungs, causing the heart and lungs to fail, in 2013. Without a transplant, it can be fatal. 

It was latest blow for Spencer, who survived cancer as a baby, then suffered years of misdiagnoses as he struggled to breathe. 

Finally diagnosed, he was put on the years-long wait list. 

Due to a shortage of donors, heart-lung transplants - replacing both organ in a single operation - are rare.

Only about one hundred such transplants are performed each year in the US. And only five hospitals perform the operation on children - none of them in Chicago.

By 2016, doctors told Spencer he had a year to live. Continue reading


Best friends share vacations, memories, kidney

WASHINGTON COUNTY PILOT-TRIBUNE & ENTERPRISE | Hillary Rosencrants

Best friends Joel Kelley and Aaron Kelberlau in their hospital bed two days after Kelberlau gave Kelley one of his kidneys. Photo provided by Joel Kelley
Aaron Kelberlau and Joel Kelley, both of Blair, have a lot in common — they go to the same church, have daughters close in age, and they even share the same blood type (B positive). They're best friends who share everything: vacations, family outings, and meals.

And there's one more thing they share: an organ.

Twenty years ago, Joel was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic disorder in which cysts grow in the kidneys, often eventually causing kidney failure. It has no proven therapies that are effective in preventing its' progression, so it's difficult to treat, and difficult to live with.

In the fall of 2016, Joel was told that his kidneys were below 15 percent production rate, and that he would need a kidney transplant within six months or he'd have to go on dialysis.

"I wasn't eating much, I lost my appetite," Joel said. "I lost my circulation, I went to bed early, I was just tired all the time."

Joel was placed on a kidney transplant list. These lists generally take about 13 months for a recipient to acquire a donor — the list is long.

Luckily for Joel, there were other factors at work. Continue reading


Crozer-Keystone Helps Raise Awareness for Organ Donor Awareness Month through Donor Dash

CROZER-KEYSTONE HEALTH | Grant Gegwich


In honor of Organ Donor Awareness Month, join Team Crozer-Keystone for the Gift of Life Donor Program’s 22nd Annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 7 a.m. starting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Crozer-Keystone is teaming up with The Gift of Life Donor Program and the Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge to support the Donor Dash.

The Donor Dash promotes organ and tissue awareness and consists of 10K and 5K races, as well as a 3K walk. All proceeds from the Donor Dash support and create the programs that educate the public about the importance of this awareness. This event draws participants such as transplant candidates, transplant recipients and family members, hospital personnel, donor family members and the public.

Last year, Crozer-Keystone’s Donor DASH team finished in third place and raised more than $16,000. This year will mark the eighth year the health system has participated in the Gift of Life Donor DASH. Continue reading


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Make your life count for more than just you,’ Local man shares how donor saved his life

WTHI | Alia Blackburn

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Most of us think of February 14th as Valentine’s Day, but there’s another reason to show love. It’s also National Donor Day.

According to national statistics, nearly 120,000 people are on a waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant.

For Ken Vanatti, he was one of those people. These days, he looks at life a lot differently.

“I lived for the weekends and family time,” Vanatti said, “and now I just live for every day, I thank God every day I get up.”

That statement would have been different several years ago. In 2008, Vanatti was diagnosed with Stage Five Kidney Failure.

“I was devastated, I didn’t know what to think,” he said, “I wasn’t happy with my doctor, I was angry at the world.”

It wasn’t until 2012 when Vanatti received his first kidney, as well as a pancreas. Two weeks later, he experienced a blood clot, which cause him to lose the kidney.

“I was in the hospital for right at two months because of losing the kidney,” he said, “and I was having to really learn how to walk again, and I didn’t want to get out of that bed. I was depressed from losing the kidney.” Continue reading



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

National Donor Day

Organ and Tissue Donation Blog



OUR VIEW: Today is National Donor Day

COLUMBIA GREENE MEDIA GROUP


Observing National Donor Day and Valentine’s Day on Tuesday is probably no accident. How much love can one give to another when the gift is blood, a kidney, eyesight or, appropriately, a heart?

The observance was originally designated in 1998 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers to raise awareness for organ, eye, tissue, marrow, platelet and blood donation, according to donoralliance.com.

Today, nearly 120,000 patients are on the waiting list to receive a lifesaving organ transplant, and countless others are in need of cornea, tissue, bone marrow, blood and platelet donation.

Some states encourage individuals to use National Donor Day to discuss organ, eye and tissue donation with their families, according to donoralliance.com.

When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, it means you have made a moral commitment to donate your organs, eyes and tissues at the time of your death. It is important to discuss your wishes with your family because your decision to be a donor takes priority over your family’s preferences. Continue reading


Avoiding twice the loss: How the heroin epidemic is giving life to organ transplant recipients

ABC NEWS 2 | Mallory Sofastaii


BALTIMORE, Md. - Last year, there were a record number of organ transplants in the country, and in Maryland. Experts believe the increase is in part due to the growing heroin epidemic.

According to The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, in 2016, one in four organ donors in the area died from an overdose.

In 2015, that number was one in six, and nationally, it's one in 11. Recently, there was a conference where heads of organizations from places like The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland met to discuss trends across the country.

Charlie Alexander, the president and CEO of The LLF said they discussed the epidemic hitting some areas harder than others, and that current prevention efforts are not offering enough.

“Medical examiner's across the country are really discussing this at a pretty high level where if it's not an epidemic yet, they know that it's coming,” Alexander said.

While health and law enforcement agencies work to combat the epidemic, hospitals are performing a record number of organ transplants. There were more than 30,000 transplants across the country in 2016, and in Maryland, there were a record 188 organ donors from our area that saved the lives of 467 organ transplant recipients. Continue reading


Today is National Organ Donor Day, 200 Montanans are currently on the transplant wait list

KULR 8 | Billings, MT | Evelyn Schultz


GREAT FALLS, Mont. - At any given time, more than 119,000 people nationwide are waiting for an organ transplant that could save their life, according to LifeCenter Northwest.

200 of those people are Montanans.

They're folks similar to Richard Hanson, who says he will always remember February as a very special month.

He and his wife Doris consider February 7th a birthday of sorts. It’s the date, exactly four years and one week ago, when he received a kidney transplant and a new chance at life.

After heart and kidney problems, he had been on dialysis for six years and had almost received a transplant twice before. But both of those times didn’t work out, leaving him feeling "blue." When he finally received a new kidney, he says his whole outlook changed.

“Somebody was looking after me, because when I did actually get the call, I don’t think I could have made it much longer on dialysis," said Hanson. "The donation definitely did save my life. It’s enabled me to be able to enjoy my life with my family, and be able to visit and go see the grand kids.” Continue reading


New law allows 16, 17 year olds to register for organ donations

CNY Central | WHAM


New York State - Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday a new law that allows 16 and 17 year olds to register for organ, eye and tissue donations.

The new law took effect on Tuesday on National Organ Donor Day.

The legislation lets younger people enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry at the same time they first apply for a driver's license, learner permit or a non-driver ID.

It is believed that this could increase enrollments in New York by the thousands.

The new law does include safeguards that allow parents or legal guardians to rescind the decision if the minor dies before turning 18.

In August, Cuomo signed legislation to let 16 and 17 year olds register their consent to donate.

The New York State Donate Life Registry is confidential and can only be accessed to determine a person's donation status after death. This can only be done by a federally approved organ procurement organization or licensed eye and tissue bank. Continue reading


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Legacy of Mark Park to live on forever after making the ultimate sacrifice

CHRONICLE LIVE UK | Kieran Southerland

Organ donor Mark, from West Denton, Newcastle, died in a car crash on Scotswood Road in January

Tragic Mark Park will live on forever after he made the ultimate sacrifice - to donate his heart.

The popular 25-year-old died after the red Ford Fiesta he was in crashed into a parked car on Scotswood Road in Newcastle .

But selfless Mark, from West Denton , had registered as an organ donor in the hope of someday being able to help somebody.

And now his heartbroken mum Lesley has revealed his heart has already been used to give someone a second chance at life.

She said: “I remember having a conversation in 2014 where Mark told me he wanted to be a donor.

“After the accident we were in the hospital and the nurses told me Mark had renewed his donor card last year. It was a surreal moment. I am so proud of him. It’s difficult but he has done something absolutely wonderful.

“It’s never something you expect to happen to your child but he is living on in someone else. We have been told his heart has gone to another young man. Continue reading


Factoryville couple falls in love while awaiting heart transplants

THE TIMES-TRIBUNE | Gia Mazur


Leslie Sorg and Jeffrey L. Crass II are living proof that love can heal a broken heart — or two.

The Factoryville couple’s story began in late 2013 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where they met while each awaited heart transplants.

“He had to wait a long time (for a heart),” Sorg, 52, said of Crass, 48, in the kitchen of their Wyoming County home. “I had to wait, too, and somewhere along the line we became friends.”

Numerous health scares, several dozen visits with doctors and specialists, and more tests and consultations than they care to remember led Sorg and Crass to the same place at the same time. And that fate — plus a sweet snack — brought them together. Continue reading


‘Medical Marijuana’ Riddled With Mold, Bacteria—Especially Bad For The Sick?

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND HEALTH | Jaime Wells


With the current wave of states legalizing marijuana, advocates championing the cause and the presence of greater societal acceptance, there is a growing perception that dispensary-supplied “medical marijuana”—not distinct from “recreational marijuana”— is as safe as any medical product obtained at a pharmacy. This is not so as there are no quality control measures or thorough federally-regulated vetting procedures in place to ensure safety.

It seems the medical and health research aspects of the issue are many steps behind the legal and political advances contributing to a false sense of security. The reality is much is not known about the science—good, bad or indifferent. Partly to blame is public universities’ very restricted ability to study the substance in the first place.

Though medical marijuana is marketed to ease suffering which is always a noble endeavor, efforts to investigate potentially harmful contaminants have not gotten substantially underway. Hence, why a research team from UC Davis embarked on a journey to explore further, concerned over the possible lethal risks infectious agents could cause when directly inhaled into the lungs of patients—in particular the most vulnerable (e.g. those with cancer, AIDS, organ transplant recipients, uncontrolled diabetes or any condition involving a suppressed or weakened immunity). Continue reading


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Language barriers may interfere with access to kidney transplantation

NEPHROLOGY NEWS

Getty Images / iStock Photo / ThinkStock

Language barriers may hinder U.S. kidney transplant candidates’ access to transplantation, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

The findings suggest that patients who primarily speak a language other than English may face disparities that keep them from completing their kidney transplant evaluation and ultimately receiving a kidney transplant.

A team led by Ed Huang, MD (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) and Efrain Talamantes, MD (University of California Davis School of Medicine) looked to see if language barriers, or linguistic isolation, might impact access to the active transplant waiting list.

The researchers merged Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing data with 5-digit zip code socioeconomic data from the 2000 United States census. They then determined the cumulative incidence of conversion to active waitlist status, death, and delisting before conversion among 84,783 temporarily inactive adult kidney candidates from 2004-2012.

A household was determined to be linguistically isolated if all members >14 years old speak a non-English language and also speak English less than “very well.” Continue reading



2 Syracuse, Nebraska, men seal friendship with kidney donation

SMITHVILLE HERALD | Kelsey Stewart


MEGAN SMITH/THE WORLD-HERALD. Dan Masters, far left, his wife, Liza, and daughter Chloe stand beside Joe Reisdorff, his wife, Christa, and son, Truman, at a ceremony at Nebraska Medical Center on Friday recognizing living kidney and liver donors. The families from Syracuse, Nebraska, have become close friends since Joe received a kidney from Dan.
Joe Reisdorff and Dan Masters had crossed paths before.

They’re from the same small town of Syracuse, Nebraska. They go to the same church. Masters works at the local hospital, and Reisdorff volunteers on the Syracuse Rescue Squad.

But they had never shared a meal or set up a play date for their kids.

A few months ago that changed.

In late November, Reisdorff and Masters were both recovering from surgery at the Nebraska Medical Center — Masters’ kidney in Reisdorff’s body.

They visited the Omaha hospital on Friday for a ceremony recognizing living kidney and liver donors. More than 1,000 kidney transplants from living donors have been performed at the med center since 1970. Kidneys from living donors tend to be of better quality and last longer, doctors say.

Reisdorff, 29, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease about eight years ago.

Reisdorff, who works with farmers to improve soil quality, was doing his job one day when he started feeling lightheaded. His eyes rolled back and he nearly passed out. Doctors diagnosed him with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering units and leads to kidney failure. He took medication to slow the disease but knew a kidney transplant was looming. Continue reading



Maine hospice worker makes surprise offer to help woman in need of kidney

BANGOR DAILEY NEWS | Dawn Gagnon


BANGOR, Maine — Four women who have donated kidneys, a woman in need of a kidney and an organ transplant surgeon shared their stories Friday in the hope of taking the mystery and fear out of kidney donations.

The idea was to get people to consider donating a kidney of their own, if their health permits, or to become a registered organ donor. Among those who turned out for the talk was a Maine hospice worker who stepped forward and offered to help one of the speakers who was in need of a kidney.

Kristen Bagley, a Veazie school board member who works at Beacon Hospice in Bangor, gave her contact information to Michelle Holmes Abell of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and said she would undergo testing to see if they are a match.

Bagley, who arrived a little late to Friday’s “Save a Life Lunch and Learn” at the Sea Dog Brewing Co. and stood at the back of the room during the panel discussion, later said she often finds herself helping people finish their life journey but would like the chance to help someone continue their journey. Continue reading


Nebraska Medicine honors organ donations Ceremony honors organ donors

WOWT



OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – “Before, I was really tired and my head was kind of foggy,” Joe Reisdorff said.

That was until Reisdorff got a much-needed kidney donation.

“Now, I go all day,” Reisdorff said.

It is a donation that turned Reisdorff and his donor, Dan Masters, into lifelong friends.

“[I] talked to my wife about getting tested to see about being a donor,” Masters said.

After several of Reisdorff’s family members were not matches, Masters was a glimmer of hope.

“I tried to put myself in his place and think about what that might be like,” Masters said. “I would want somebody to step up and try and help me.”

A perfect match led to successful operations for both men. Reisdorff found a solution to his chronic kidney disease. Masters found a deeper meaning in life. Continue reading




Green Bay teen receives double lung transplant

WBAY | Rhonda Roberts



GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Green Bay teenager has received a successful double lung transplant.

Erin Culbertson had her surgery on Feb. 5 at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, according to Amy Wright, a spokesperson for the Carin’ 4 Erin fundraising team.

Action 2 News featured Erin’s story in January. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that impacts lungs and causes respiratory issues.

“Unless Erin gets this transplant she probably only has one or two years left to live,” Karla Culbertson told Action 2 News in January. “Sometimes getting up to go sit down at the table for dinner is hard.”

Erin’s mom Karla has been posting updates on the Carin’ 4 Erin page. A blog post from Feb. 7 said things were going well for Erin after the transplant and that she was weaned off a ventilator. Continue reading


National Organ Donor Day

THE GLEANER | Beth Smith

Kerry DeHaven of Clay, Ky., received a new heart in December of 2013. The now 48-year-old was working as a paramedic when he had his first heart attack in April of 2013.(Photo: DENNY SIMMONS / THE GLEANER)
To many, Valentine's Day is about hearts and flowers. For Webster County resident Kerry DeHaven, it's mainly about the hearts -- or any organ really.

DeHaven of Clay, is the recipient of a donor heart. That's why the 48-year-old former paramedic, who worked in areas such as Henderson, Webster, Hopkins, McLean, Daviess and Caldwell counties, spends a great deal of time reminding folks that Feb. 14 is not only Valentine's Day, but it is also National Organ Donor Day.

"I started having some heart problems in my early to mid-30s," he said. "I had severe chest pain, shortness of breath. It was slowing me down."

"These issues were somewhat of a surprise," he said. "Initially, we didn't realize there was that much of a history of problems in the DeHaven family. But almost all males in the DeHaven line have passed away at age 70. It was almost eerie. After I started having heart problems, my father, at age 70, dropped dead of a heart attack. No warnings or anything. We now think that it is something that runs in the family that has never been caught."

DeHaven received stints in 2009 due to blockages in his heart and by his own account was doing well until April 16, 2013. Continue reading


Friday, February 3, 2017

After heart transplant, Janesville family adjusts to parenthood

GAZETTE XTRA | Jim Dayton

ANGELA MAJOR.   Jordan Dyer, left, his wife, Heather, right, and their new baby, Hadley Ann sit together. The Dyer family faced a unique challenge when Jordan underwent heart transplant surgery just before his daughter was born.

JANESVILLE—It's not often a new parent brings home a new baby and a new heart.

Jordan Dyer of Janesville did so in November, when he and his wife took home their first child a month after Jordan had heart transplant surgery.

Dyer, 36, was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. His pulmonary artery and aorta were switched, meaning his blood did not get oxygenated properly, he said.

He underwent 11 heart surgeries in the past, though Dyer never felt like he faced any physical restrictions while growing up. But last year when he became severely out of breath during routine tasks, he knew something more serious was happening.

While awaiting a donor match in October, Dyer told The Gazette doctors had given him two options: a short-term mechanical heart or a full heart transplant. Continue reading


Heart transplant leads to true change of heart for 73-year-old KC man once told he had no hope

FOX 4 KC | Abby Eden


Sitting in the survivor seat, local man now giving back to his community

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- We are just two days into February, which is American Heart Month.

As part of Heart Month, St. Luke's Health System is honoring a heart patient with a special seat at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts.

Dr. Michael Borkon met Kamal Mikhail in April 2012 at his very worst.

"Consideration at that point was being given to end of life care and hospice," Dr. Borkon said.

Mikhail's heart had failed, and most doctors had given up on him, but Dr. Borkon saw him as a candidate for a heart transplant.

"In 64 hours from the time that they decided they were going to transplant me, they had a heart," Mikhail said.

After weeks of being on his literal death-bed, Mikhail got the best possible news, he had the chance to live another day. Continue reading


White pushes to expand organ and tissue donor registry

ADVANTAGE NEWS


Secretary of State Jesse White initiated legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s organ and tissue donor registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

“Our goal is always to save lives,” White said. “Thousands of Illinoisans are waiting for an organ. Many of those who wait are someone’s mother, father, daughter or son. This legislation, which the vast majority of other states have implemented, is an important step in reducing the number of those on the waiting list.”

The legislation amends the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to join the donor registry. Under current law, an individual must be at least 18 to join. Those who join the registry will receive a letter from the Secretary of State’s office thanking them for joining. White encourages 16- and 17-year-olds to use this letter as a basis for discussing their decision with their parents.

By joining the registry, 16- and 17-year-olds will be giving consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death, with a single limitation. The procurement organizations, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant, must make a reasonable effort to contact a parent or guardian to ensure they approve of the donation. The parent or guardian will have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision. Once the 16- or 17-year-old turns 18, his or her decision would be considered legally binding without limitation. Continue reading

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Family affected by organ transplant looks to spread awareness

KPLC TV | Kayla Courvell




SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Most of us check the organ donor box on our driver's licenses. Then, we usually don't think of it again.

For some, that check mark is saving lives.

“It’s a tragedy that puts us in this situation and people are waiting on a list - a long list," said Danette McManus.

That list is an organ transplant list - 118,000 people are on it and 22 of them die every day, awaiting a new organ.

Adele Tilley was a child when her father’s health began declining due to diabetes.

“He’d come home from work and pretty much go to sleep," Tilley said.

In 2006, Dane Tilley needed a kidney transplant. Organ transplants were not new to the Tilley family.

Adele’s aunt had a lung transplant and her cousin had a double cornea transplant, and when it seemed like Dane may never get the kidney he needed, his sister stepped forward. Continue reading


Surgeon Donates Kidney To Anesthesiologist Colleague

CBS LOS ANGELES


ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — As a surgeon, Dr. Colleen Coleman is in the business of saving lives.

Often the people she helps are strangers, but she recently had the opportunity to help someone close to her: a colleague at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

When Coleman heard that Dr. Brian Dunn, an anesthesiologist with whom she shares an operating room twice a month, was in need of a kidney transplant, she looked for a way to help.

After finding she was a match with her colleague, Coleman traded her scrubs for a patient gown and donated her organ.

She said it was just part of the job.

“I truly believe if I as a surgeon and physician couldn’t do this, after having participated in transplantation as part of my training and experience as a surgeon, how could I ask other people to give themselves,” Coleman said. Continue reading



Kidney disease in spotlight after top Chicago cop Eddie Johnson speaks up

CHICAGO TRIBUNE | Grace Wong

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, seen here on Nov. 11, 2016. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)
Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson received an outpouring of support after he disclosed last week that he is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant because of glomerulonephritis. Dozens of strangers and Chicago Police Department employees offered to be donors, in hopes that they would be a match for Johnson.

While the response does not necessarily mean Johnson will receive a kidney — finding a match is incredibly challenging — transplant advocates said the attention paid to his condition could help others even if it doesn't immediately help Johnson.

"Many, many more patients are in the same situation as the superintendent," said Dr. Paul Crawford, Johnson's nephrologist, or kidney specialist. "They're waiting for organs and for the public to step up to the plate and be a donor. You have to go through a screening test, but a lot of people are responding and calling and willing to donate, so that's been a very positive outcome of the announcement of the status of his kidney."

Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys. When it occurs, the kidneys stop properly filtering blood and eliminating waste through urine. They begin to scar and shut down, eventually failing and resulting in potentially life-threatening complications. Continue reading