Every so often the family of someone who has died knows of someone in need of a Kidney Donation, and that someone turns out to be a good match. In the transplant world, it’s called Directed Donation. That is what happened with Anthony Jackson. He was an old soul, some would tell you. Jackson made weekly dinner dates with his mom and impromptu visits to his grandmother. He was easy to like, the kind of friend and co-worker you knew would listen and care.
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In June, Jackson, an Ohio State University student, was hospitalized with complications related to Type 1 diabetes and the situation looked bleak. When doctors told Jackson's mother, Nina Miller, that her son was dead, the grieving mother’s thoughts turned to Ryan Robinson, the son of her lifelong best friend, Tikara Robinson. He had been on dialysis since contracting Meningitis as a teen.
Miller knew that her son wanted to be an organ donor so she asked whether one of his kidneys could help 30-year-old Ryan Robinson who she had known since his birth. Although Jackson and Robinson were never particularly close, three months after the transplant with energy he had forgotten existed, Robinson talks about Jackson, "I’m really happy and blessed, but we lost somebody at the same time. He was probably the most genuine person I’ve ever met in my life. He was a really special human being.”
Dorrie Dils, Lifeline of Ohio’s Chief Clinical Executive, said her organization fields four or five requests for Directed Donation each year. Some come from those who have seen a would-be recipient's personal story on social media or know an individual in need from church. Although most of the time Direct Donation of a kidney does not work out because the donor and recipient are not a match or because the ill person is not on the waiting list, when it does work it can seem as if something divine has occurred.
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KidneyBuzz.com believes that those in the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Community should find hope in this article as it underscores the fact that individuals are looking to do good even during their most trying times. Nina Miller found comfort in "knowing that Jackson [her son] has helped others." Also, note that people are looking for ways to help. Even though they may not be a Living Donor themselves many people very close to you and otherwise, recognize your struggle. They read your Facebook Pages and pray for you in church, so keep the faith and do not give up, your Directed Donation or even Living Donation may be just around the corner. Make sure you are ready. For those considering Living Donation or signing up to be an Organ Donor, know that it makes all the difference in the CKD Community, and it is a practical way to be good to others and change lives even in death.
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Reference: "Mother Donates Late Son's Kidney to Friend's Ill Son." The Columbus Dispatch.