No Kidney from Old Men

At age 71, I've heard a lot about human organ transplants all my life. I was just out of high school when a doctor in South Africa transplanted a human heart into another human in 1967; and it’s a nearly routine procedure now. I even read the other day that some doctors (Scientists? Nutjobs?) in China are contemplating a brain transplant. If that works, I know of several hundred politicians who could use one.

But I never really thought too much about transplants until my wife and I met Keke 9 - 10 years ago. She was just a little squirt with a huge smile and a little mischief in her eyes. We soon learned she had major problems with her kidneys; but as her life progressed, she eventually got a nice new kidney from her Dad. In almost no time, she was no longer a little squirt: she was a big squirt, growing almost as tall as her old grandpa,with a lot of mischief in her eyes.

When Dad's kidney failed her two years ago, I was ready to give her one of mine, without hesitation – and as it turns out, without much thought. Not only am I not the right blood type, at my age, both my kidneys are suffering from my family's heritage of poor kidney health.

So, I'm no donor. I guess maybe most old guys are like that. And, obviously, everything in this story is exactly opposite from the "No Country..." film. In Keona's story, everyone is 100% behind the heroine. But make no mistake: this heroine is single-mindedly on the trail of a new healthy kidney.

Today, I came across a website from Indiana University called “Living Kidney Donation,” and it details everything there is to know about donating a kidney to someone. This old man can’t be the hero here, but he’s thinking that someone, somewhere will click on this page and be eager to change Keona’s life with a new kidney.


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