Posted by: Jamie Stamm | January 30, 2008

Donate life

I saw this video on CNN today, and it made me smile:

For those of you who can’t link to it, this short clip tells the story of a Texas man who needed a kidney transplant (he actually rented a billboard and created a Web site seeking donors) and then got a kidney from a stranger who lived in Chicago.

Organ donation is an issue that is near and dear to my heart because several generations of my family, including my mom and myself, have been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder for which there is no cure (learn more at

A little more than two years ago, my mom’s kidney function already was down to 10 percent. She was only 47 years old.

Luckily for us, my dad was a match, and he was kind and loving enough to donate one of his kidneys to my mom. The doctors say he may have added 30 years to her life.

I think organ donors are amazing people. But most of them aren’t around to realize the incredible impact they have made on someone else’s life. That’s because most donated organs come from those who have already passed on.

Just imagine, though, the impact you could make as a living organ donor.

I know it is not an easy thing to do. I was with my dad at the hospital the morning of his surgery, and though he put on a brave face, I can assure you he was scared. And when both surgeries were completed, it was my mom who was in better shape. My dad caught an infection and was in the hospital just as long as she was. But a few weeks later, there weren’t too many effects for him, aside from a series of small scars that kind of make him look like he had been in a knife fight.

My dad will live every day of the rest of his life knowing that he saved someone else’s life. That has to be an incredible feeling. Plus, we told him he never has to buy Mom another present – birthday, Christmas or otherwise. (He still does, though.)

For more information about organ donation, visit



  1. Right on, Jamie! I second everything you’ve written about donation. I, too, am a huge advocate because my sister is a double-lung transplant recipient … and her donor saved her life. I just posted about this topic last night –

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