Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Paying-It-Forward In "The Chain Of Life"

--by h.c.preston, posted Feb 24, 2011

In June 2009 the New Jersey Star-Ledger ran a series called "The Chain of Life" about kidney donation chains. These are enabled by one non-related donor giving a kidney to a recipient whose donor (usually a relative) was not compatible. That non-compatible donor then donates to someone else in the same position and thus four or six people could receive new kidneys. 

I decided I could do that. I contacted the National Kidney Registry and started a six month process that ended with my donating a kidney to a doctor who had been on home dialysis for two years. I didn't know his identity until several months later when we had a very meaningful and emotional introduction. His wife donated her kidney, the same day as our surgery, to someone else, whose donor donated theirs to someone else on the other side of the country!

The surgery lasted two hours; I was in the hospital for two nights and took two weeks off work. Two months after the surgery I was completely recovered and, except for a tiny scar through my belly button, would have no recollection of the entire process - except that I have met a new group of wonderful people who have done the same thing.

It wasn't so hard but it is hard to imagine that I could do anything else in my life that would make such a difference!

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Readers Comments

kindhearted wrote: That's amazing, you make it sound it is nothing. God bless you.
StarBrite wrote: Wow! As an organ transplant receipient i know what a gift of love you so generously given. God bless you.
aprilannie wrote: It was a brave act i should say. God bless.
joy wrote: Wow what a beautiful gift to give someone the gift of life. How brave and generous you are. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story.
pavoor wrote: God bless
Sydney wrote: This story is absolutely amazing. How wonderful that you were moved to reach out and donate a kidney just from what you read in the news. What an incredible act of generosity. I was deeply moved by this story.
wooka85257 wrote: What a magnificent gift you have given him! Not only a new kidney, but a chance at life again. What a beautiful soul you are!
CharlieB wrote: Your last line says it all; it is hard to imagine that you could do anything that would make as much of a difference in someone's life. May your own life be blessed for what you've done and perhaps you will move others to do something similar.
seattlegirl wrote: Wow, what an amazing gift, you make it sound like a small thing, but it is huge!
sajha eden wrote: I'm so glad my mom told me about this site! It gives me great joy to know that living compassion is flowing through willing hearts and out into the world. Blessings on you and the other donors for your courage.

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