By Randy Pierce
When faced with his wife’s desperate need for a kidney, Bill Flannery created the Facebook page, “A Kidney for Maria”. Since January 2012, Mass General had presented Maria with only three opportunities for a kidney from deceased donors, but ultimately none of them were a match.
It became clear that it could take a long time to find a deceased donor to match Maria. Bill realized the very real risk if he couldn’t reach more people to spread the word and try to find a living donor. With the more widespread message from the Facebook page, they could make a difference.
Maria was diagnosed at the age of 10 with a diabetic condition that has resulted in a more high-risk life. Her father gave her an extension of 18 years by giving her one of his kidneys in 1994. This past year, this donated kidney failed. Her need began to escalate with the price of her life very likely on the line. So her husband Bill created the Facebook page, “looking for a hero” to donate a kidney. Typical people can live healthy and well with a single kidney–though it takes a special kind of person to even consider such a gift.
Happily, Bill found that hero and Maria is even now healing from the transplant procedure which suggests many more happy years with her husband and two children.
Last November we wrote about “A Different Kind of Donor”. Bobby Butler’s hope to help his wife find a heart transplant through the Organ Donor program. That program allows any donor to choose to give the gift of life to potentially many in the event of their death. The cost is therefore little; we still encourage people to make that choice.
What about the thousands who are waiting for the gift of life? They need people like you and me to make this choice. I took the time and found many great resources online to help me fully understand what is involved. I’ve made my decision to join this registry by the end of November. If you too would like to be an organ donor and have not registered, please visit: www.donatelife.net, and register today!