So why a blog on kidney donation?

You’d be amazed how many times the upcoming transplant has come up in conversations.  It’s almost always a little bit of a stopper.  I understand that it’s still a somewhat novel idea.  I was trying to recall my encounters with people who have transplant experiences, and I was a little surprised to realize that I know a kidney recipient, a liver recipient and the parents of a heart donor. 
In 2003 I also had the privilege to interview University of MN transplant pioneer, Dr. John Najarian for
my talk show on WCCO Radio.  I still recall his telling me in effect, ‘The good Lord must have known that we only need one kidney, for the survival rates of donors are not significantly different from those of non-donors.’   Recent news affirms his assertion. 
I spoke with Najarian when I was covering the story of Apham Nnaji,
an altruistic donor who gave a kidney to NFL star Keith Fahnhorst after they became acquainted at a Bible study gathering.  The story was a strong testimony of faith.  Apham told me that he was inspired to give by the example of a friend who volunteered as a paramedic though he was a busy father of young children.  This man said he sacrificed his family time for the good of his children, that they might value community service.  So Apham overcame his lifelong bias against the whole idea of organ donation and he and Keith were both doing well when last I heard their progress.  Apham gave a kidney to model Christian love and service to others.  I can’t say that I have felt led to be an altruistic donor.  But when I consider the gift for my sister I do think of Our Lord’s words, “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friend.”  My sister was my first friend and I love her like that.
I have a collection of stories of lives restored, and I imagine you may also know people who have participated in transplantation. 
The thing that strikes me as I consider these individuals is that they’re just people. 
The stories are deeply inspiring to be sure, but transplantation was simply the best option, so they took it.  I try to convey this when people ask me about donating, especially because folks have praised me in advance of my even doing anything.  People give of themselves sacrificially all the time.  But living organ donation is still just unusual enough that I’m writing to share the journey with you.
BTW, I’m trying to learn more about what my sister is going through with dialysis.  But I did find an extremely thorough and helpful brochure online.  I don’t know anything about the Japanese pharmaceutical company which produced this, but the information squares with all that I’ve been learning about transplantation, and it might prove illuminating if you’re curious about kidney transplants in general.
And in closing—another news story of organ donation offering new life to people.   Why one family chose to give.

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