Pay it forward. The longest living kidney transplant chain has just been forged. The links involved 30 donors, 30 recipients, 4 months of planning and 17 hospitals around the US.
• Getting a kidney from a deceased donor can take 5-10 years. Living donors, willing to give up one of their two kidneys, may not be the right tissue match. A transplant chain begins when a Good Samaritan donates a kidney, expecting nothing in return. The recipient could have received a kidney from a family member, except that the tissue did not match. So the grateful family member donates their kidney anyway, but to another stranger in need. And so the good deeds propagate, setting up a chain reaction .
• The National Kidney Registry says that such chains have the potential to provide kidneys to as many as 20,000 patients immediately, and 3,000 patients per year thereafter. There are 90,000 people in the United States alone, waiting for a kidney and 4,500 will die each year waiting.
• For information, please call (800) 424-6120 or go to http://www.kidneyregistry.org/.
Watch/read their personal stories: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/kidney-transplant-chain-sets-record/story?id=15752299#.T0MDPMiVPcs