Everyone knows winter is the season of giving, but one Oak Park teenager gave something this Christmas that couldn’t be tied up in a bow. It had to be packed on ice, flown to California and transplanted into a stranger’s body. Joey Pascarella donated his kidney. His left kidney, to be exact.
Two days after her 55th birthday, on Dec. 20, 2022, Kirsten Minnerath had surgery to remove her kidney. It was being donated to a stranger through a non-directed living kidney donation. Minnerath’s donation process began when she found out a friend’s husband needed a kidney.
Health, not age, is the key to living organ donation. Since 1995, more than 200 people aged 70 or older have become living donors. Learn more about age and organ donation.
After 12 years on dialysis and various transplant denials, Magdalena received a new kidney from her son, Justin, who was a perfect match. Their living donor kidney transplantation surgeries took place in late October, marking Memorial Transplant Institute’s 100th kidney transplant performed in 2022.
Detective Michael Lollo of the NYPD spent much of his life responding to emergencies, but he never expected his heroics would include donating a kidney to Ruth Tisak, the 59-year-old wife of a Marine veteran. After bonding through letters, this year Michael and his family met Ruth and her relatives to share Thanksgiving dinner.
A Utah family has a lot to be thankful for this year after a family member received a lifesaving kidney transplant, and because of the National Kidney Registry’s paired exchange program, the transplant actually saved more than just one life.
More than 90,000 people across the country need a kidney. There aren’t enough donors to give them all new life. But at the Medical University of South Carolina, there’s a program where Good Samaritans can donate their kidneys. That program is how members from two South Carolina families were able to survive.
After a series of successful kidney transplants this summer, in which Rick and Marissa Calcutt were part of a three-way paired kidney exchange including Christine and Ruth Faust in Buffalo, New York, the two pairs who helped save each other’s lives had an emotional meeting over video.
Members of New York’s Finest are duty-bound to save the lives of complete strangers. This time, a complete stranger is saving the life of one good cop.
Though not a match, Sophia Jackson will donate her kidney on the officer’s behalf–putting Alston one step closer to finding her match.