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Living donor tells her story about giving away kidney

Living donor tells her story about giving away kidney

Kathleen De Roos talks about good times with her brother Bob.

"These are pictures of us together when we were little kids," she said.

It was later in life when her brother got kidney disease.

It's what inspired De Roos to become a living donor.

"I was a match to give him a kidney and I wasn't able to give him my kidney because he passed away too ill to have the surgery," she said.

Even after her brother's death, and after much prayer and contemplation, she decided to go ahead with the procedure anyway.

"It wasn't difficult really," said De Roos.

Her donated kidney went to a man in Connecticut through a computer generated program.

"You donate to somebody else, and that recipient has somebody who has somebody willing to donate, but they weren't a match, so then their kidney goes to someone else," she said.

While she says everyone is different, she wasn't in the hospital long and recovered rather quickly.

Now a living donor with one kidney, she's been using social media to talk about her experience.

It's how she got connected with Dr. Stuart Himmelstein in Florida who's now a patient himself in need of a kidney just to survive.

"It's very humbling," said Dr. Himmelstein, who has been practicing medicine for many years. "You learn to appreciate the little things in life."

He created this Facebook page to tell his story and ask for help.

"A healthy person just needs one kidney to live a healthy life, and that can have a pass-down effect for numerous people who need this organ," said Dr. Himmelstein.

De Roos says she did it because of her love for her brother, and it turned into a kidney donation that started a chain of others spanning the country.

She hopes her story inspires others to donate.

"It has nothing to do with the donor.. It has everything to do with the recipient.. And sharing what you have with somebody else.. Just knowing you're doing the right thing."

Links to helpful resources:

https://secure.nebraskamed.com/livingdonor
https://www.nebraskamed.com/sites/default/files/documents/Transplant/living-kidney-donor-brochure.pdf
https://www.nebraskamed.com/sites/default/files/documents/Transplant/living-kidney-donor-faqs.pdf

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