Morristown agencies unite to find kidney donor

DAILY RECORD | Michael Izzo
Gene Okun films a "Big Dumb Kidneys" video to help find a donor.(Photo: Courtesy of The O'Hara Project)
Groups launch ‘Big Dumb Kidneys’ campaign

Four Morristown agencies have united to create a promotional campaign dedicated to finding one man a kidney donor.

The “Big Dumb Kidneys” campaign was designed to raise awareness for Gene Okun, a 52-year-old man from Newport Beach, Calif., who has polycystic kidney disease. His kidneys are abnormally large and currently only have 18 percent function, hence the name of the campaign.

“It’s a very serious topic,” Gene Okun said. “But we wanted to make a little light of it.”

Okun’s sister, Tina, is the chief operating officer of SmithSolve, a Morristown-based healthcare agency. She decided to reach out to the community to help her brother find the donor he needed.

"By sharing his search for a kidney donor, Gene voices the hopes, dreams and fears of thousands of people living with PKD and other serious, rare and inherited kidney diseases, often without an effective treatment or cure,” Tina Okun said. "It's a privilege to tell his story in partnership with colleagues who bring such creativity, skill and humor to the task. Once you meet Gene and his big, dumb kidneys, you’ll understand what's at stake not just for my brother, but for everyone managing a difficult diagnosis.” Continue reading

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