The primary mission of The Ultimate Gift of Life is to raise awareness about organ donation and to increase the number of registered organ donors. We do this with the help of our dedicated volunteers. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but when it comes to organ donation, nothing is more effective than the sharing of the real life stories by those who have experienced some aspect of organ donation.
This month we would like to recognize 5 of our volunteers who give of their time and share their stories about being living donors!
Dene Kyrish donated a kidney to her sister, Dorcella Sunday. Dorcella went into kidney failure because of Polycystic Kidney Disease. Now over 10 years later, both Dene and Dorcella are doing very well. They along with their husbands Leon and Al , volunteer and share their story. Dene is also quite athletic and has competed in track and field events at 3 National Transplant Games and has brought home gold medals each time. Most recently, in 2016, she earned a gold medal in each of the 3 events she competed in. Congratulations Dene! Update: Dene passed away in December of 2020 after a tough fight with cancer. Her legacy continues through her sister, Dorcella.
Pat Mossman came home one day to find his wife, Debbie very upset. She had just found out that she was not a match to donate a kidney to her brother, Tony. Pat was tested and found to be a match. The transplant took place in 1998 when donating a kidney involved major surgery and long recovery times. Tony lived 10 years with Pat’s gift and today Pat is actually more athletic than before the surgery. He volunteers his time with us and particularly enjoys sharing his story with High School students. Tony and Pat participated in the 2016 Transplant Games where Pat won 4 medals in swimming, cycling and running. He earned a gold in the Virtual Triathlon. Way to go, Pat!
John McCalla’s son, Kevin was born with a rare disease called Cystinosis which led to Kevin needing a kidney transplant at the age of 23. John was a match and without hesitation donated a kidney. The transplant lasted for over 2 years, but then Kevin’s body began to reject the kidney. Today, John is doing well and Kevin has received a second transplant via a paired donation that his sister participated in. To read more about that go to theultimategiftoflife.com/kevin-mccalla-recipient-kidney-transplant
Thank you, John!
In 1999, Kim Oliver donated a kidney to her brother Dusty. This gift gave Dusty 16 years of life without dialysis. Dusty passed away about 2 years ago from heart failure. Kim was one of the first living donors to have the non-invasive surgery to recover the Kidney. Today, Kim is doing very well and supports the efforts of the Ultimate Gift of Life. We appreciate you, Kim!
Wendy Holt donated a kidney to her son, Mathew several years ago. Today, Mathew is awaiting a second kidney transplant, which is quite common when people get a transplant at a young age. Wendy’s daughter is planning on donating a kidney to Mathew. That is what family is all about! Best wishes to you all.
We encourage you to not only register to be a deceased donor, but also consider being a living donor.
For more information about living donation go to: https://www.unos.org/donation/living-donation/
To register to be a deceased organ donor go to: https://theultimategiftoflife.com/become-organ-donor/
Turn a Time of Loss Into a Time of Hope, Register to Be an Organ Donor!
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