Local family in need of a kidney donation


“From 7:15 to 5:15 I can’t do anything. I’m stuck on a leash inside my own house and i feel like i’m in prison almost.”

James is need of a kidney after being on dialysis for the past two years due to an auto-immune disorder caused by mono. His sister in law Kristie decided she would donate her kidney to James. But when they found out she was not a match, they decided to join the “Pair Donor Exchange” program.

“We can take people like them and put them into national organizations that will match people from all over the country to give them a much better opportunity to donate to someone and then have their donor give to James in this case,” says Dr. Tod Merchen . 

Essentially, Kristie donates her kidney to someone who is a match and needs it, and in exchange, James gets a kidney that matches his. James and his fiance’ Noelle have been together for 12 years and have two kids. but their journey has trials and tribulations. Over the past two years, James has worked to get himself in shape, losing 80 pounds and taking two daily medications instead of the 13 he used to take. Kristie says seeing James work so hard makes it an easy choice to donate her  kidney in order for James to get one that is a match. 

“Such an amazing inspiration to see somebody whose been through so much.It makes it seem very insignificant just to give a kidney back. It’s going to change their lives.”

Kristie decided to post their story on Facebook in hopes of bringing awareness to their situation.  she says within 48 hours, she got great response and several people went to get tested to see if they were a match for James.

she says that response has given them hope.

“It brought a lot of awareness and hopefully someone is able to give life to not only me but others.” 

For more information email Kate Hefner khefner@augusta.edu

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