Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - EDITORIALS - Jeremiah John­son, Arc Dig­i­tal

On June 25th, I do­nated a kid­ney. I had two kidneys go­ing into that day; I have one kid­ney now. I didn’t do­nate to a per­son I know, but to a stranger on the kid­ney wait­ing list — a queue that, de­spite our ever-in­creas­ing med­i­cal mas­tery, re­mains de­press­ingly long.

This was by no means an easy de­ci­sion to make; in fact, I thought about it for nearly a year. But I even­tu­ally be­came con­vinced it was the right thing to do.

I’m writ­ing this to ex­plain why I made this choice, and why I think you should con­sider do­ing it as well.

The ba­sic ar­gu­ment can be bro­ken down into three main points: Kid­ney dis­ease is a serious prob­lem. Liv­ing do­na­tions pro­duce ex­tremely large benefits to re­cip­i­ents. Liv­ing do­na­tions are very safe for the donor. …

Re­cip­i­ents who get kidneys from liv­ing donors tend to get more than 10 ad­di­tional years on av­er­age … These years aren’t empty years, ei­ther — they’re rel­a­tively healthy years …

I had two life vests, some­one was drowning with­out one, and it cost me very lit­tle to give them my ad­di­tional one. I hope this piece in­spires you to con­sider be­com­ing a donor.

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