Living Transplant - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Living Transplant


MEDSTAR (WAOW) -- Living donors save lives by donating a kidney to someone so sick they need one to survive. Now, there's a move on to make becoming a living donor easier. Janet Vasil reports.

Janice Edwards-Armstrong met the man of her dreams...but he came with a catch.

"When we met, he shared with me the story of how polycystic kidney disease runs in his family."

Janice joined Rod on his journey to find a kidney donor. She turned out to be his perfect match.

Janice says "My blood type is not a common blood type; it's actually one of the rarest. So for us to be a blood and a tissue match was very, a miraculous."

Janice never thought twice of giving Rod a kidney, but worried about taking time off from her job as a college administrator.

Janice says "I sort of broke the news to them gently because I wasn't sure how they would take it. But I said, you know, I have this opportunity to perhaps be an organ donor for somebody who needs a kidney and I wanted to know whether or not that was something they'd allow me to do, they both absolutely encouraged me."

It's something the American Society of Transplantation would like to see more of. Employers willing to grant paid leave to employees willing to donate organs.
Henkie Tan, M.D., Ph.D. says "I think if there's a sort of be a standardized employee leave organization program that the American Society of Transplant is pushing for. Then that sort of reassures most living donors, say, 'Hey, you have four weeks of paid leave after your donation.' I think that gives them a peace of mind."

"That institution is as important to the success of this transplantation because they allowed it to happen." says Janice.

Doctor Tan believes paid leave could ease the chronic shortage of organs by encouraging more living donors, like Janice. This is Janet Vasil reporting.

For more on creating an employee leave and organ donation program at your office, log onto the American Society of Transplantations website at

Kidney dialysis or transplant is needed when kidney function drops below 10 to 15 percent.
Over half the kidneys transplanted in the U.S. since last year have come from live donors.
The American Society of Transplantation is urging Congress to adopt a universal "Organ Donor Leave Act" which would provide employees with four weeks of paid leave for recovery after live organ donation.
For more details, refer to our comprehensive research summary.

Online Reporter: Ashley Gatz

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