I would like to thank John Micklos Jr. for the story of two transplants and about Dr. Swanson and Dr. Scantlebury. I had talked with Dr. Swanson in 2008, but Christiana did not have a swap program.
A fellow Vietnam vet and former state representative, Bill Vernon from Rehoboth, brought me an article about Dr. Robert Montgomery from Johns Hopkins. The article had appeared in The Wall Street Journal. My wife, Donna, started calling and being persistent. I had been on dialysis mornings, then about 12 months and three months later we got a call. On Veterans’ Day, Donna gave her kidney to a gentleman from Virginia, and I received one from a gentleman out of South Carolina. That day we were participants in a four-way swap. What a powerful experience, one that has saved many lives.
Again, thank you for such a great story.
George H. Bunting Jr.
State Senator, 20th district
We wish to express our thanks to Delaware Today and 302 Health magazine for publishing the article about our need for a kidney transplant. The article highlighted the need for living and paired kidney donations. In addition, the feature promoted the Christiana Kidney Transplant program as well as the National Kidney Foundation’s Wilmington Walk that will occur on Oct. 14.
Jim’s health is doing very well as he approaches the one-year anniversary of his kidney transplant. Since the feature’s publication, Paul received his much-needed kidney transplant from a surprising source: a 23-year-old woman he had not seen in years yet met 14 years earlier through his church. Nicole Peacock, upon hearing of Paul’s situation and realizing they shared the same O-positive blood type, began the testing process. Paul’s surgery was much more extensive, with a bilateral nephrectomy (removal of both kidneys) having to be performed before the transplant could take place. Both procedures were performed the same day over the course of about 12 hours. Since that time Paul has struggled with various surgery-related issues, but his new kidney is working just fine.
The donation of a kidney is a great example of selflessness. Our mutual stories give reason to be optimistic about the future of our society, country and even the world.
Jim Wilson and Paul Graefe
I read with great interest your article “A Tale of Two Kidneys,” which was published in the premiere issue of 302 Health. I would like to offer an additional resource for people seeking a kidney. Approximately 2 ½ years ago, I enrolled in the Christiana Transplant program, but due to my blood type (B), I realistically didn’t have a chance of receiving a kidney for at least six years. One day early last September (2011), I happened to be watching one of the morning news shows, and there was a segment about a nonprofit organization, Matchingdonors.com, which served as a conduit for people looking for organs and altruistic donors. I signed up at the Web site, and put a profile up there for prospective donors. Within about two weeks I received a call from a lady in Arizona that has totally changed my life. She had listed herself as an altruistic donor at the Web site, and was offering to start the evaluation process to donate a kidney to me. I contacted Christiana, and they began the evaluation process for kidney donation from a live donor. Then they found out that my donor (Michelle) was obtained from Matchingdonors.com, and because I had paid a registration fee to be listed, they felt that there were ethical issues involved, and would only do a paired donation. So I had no idea if and when I would get a kidney, even though Michelle and I had been matched. She was in perfect health, and ready to go.
So in February I transferred to the University of Maryland Transplant program. They have no issues with someone getting a donor from Matchingdonors.com. And, as of July 6, I now have a new kidney from an angel from Arizona!
Matchingdonors.com has over 10,000 people registered as altruistic donors. You can search the site for potential donors and filter the registrants by organ, blood type, location, etc. The site is nonprofit, and it has had numerous success stories. If you are looking for a kidney (or for that matter other organs), please check it out.