Man banks kidney for longtime friend through kidney exchange

WMTV | Hannah Anderson

WAUNAKEE, Wis. (WMTV) - The kidney is the most needed organ in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Getting the right match from a living donor seems like everything has to line up perfectly for a successful transplant or for a recipient to live.

However, a program at UW Hospital is helping patients move up on the list quicker, thanks to donors who may not even be a match.

When babies are born, the first thing that comes to mind is joy. Kevin Olson was born 30 years ago.

"My journey actually started before I was born. They [the doctors] found out I would have issues with the kidneys," Olson said. "They did surgery through the womb. When I was born, I was lucky enough to be 5 years old before my first transplant."

Life has been anything but physically comfortable for Olson, who has a congenital genetic condition that impacts his posterior urethral valves (PUV). PUV is an abnormality of the urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside of the body for elimination, according to standfordchildrens.org. Because of this diagnosis, Olson's kidneys reject after a period of time, which lead to his four kidney transplants 
in his life. Continue reading
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