March is National Kidney Awareness Month;
Consider the ‘Gift of Living Donation’
Father Who Donated Kidney to His Own Son Shares Message of Hope and ‘Giving While Living’
97,000+ in the U.S. are Currently on a Waiting List for a Kidney Transplant
But Only About 20 Percent Will Receive an Organ
March is National Kidney Awareness Month, March 13th is World Kidney Day and the non-profit organization Gift of Living Donation (The GOLD) wants to educate the public about “giving while living.”
While there are more than 97,000 people with end-stage renal disease currently on a waiting list for a kidney transplant in the U.S., only about 20 percent will receive the life-saving organ. Approximately 3,000 people are added to that list each month … with the average wait being six years. Each day, approximately 18 people on this list die and another five are removed from because they have become too ill to receive a transplant.
The non-profit organization was launched in 2013 by Rick Antosh, who donated a kidney to his own son, Keith, in 1996. Commented, Antosh, “Demographic changes and the rise in obesity in our country – and hence in high blood pressure and diabetes – has led to an enormous demand for kidney donation, one that cannot solely be met by donations made after death. There is a viable remedy, one that will save lives—by tapping a supply presently underserved by any media attention. I am here to personally tell you that it is a solution that permits both the donor and the recipient to lead normal, healthy lives.”
To date, more than 100,000 living donations have been made to family members and friends. The first donation occurred in in 1954 by a Massachusetts man in his 20s (who lived to be 79 years old) to assist his brother. The life span of a living donation kidney exceeds the life span of a donation after death by almost double.
About The GOLD:
The Gift of Living Donation foundation (The GOLD) is a 501.c.3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing education about living organ donation and the critical need going unmet in this country for kidney transplants. While more than 97,000 people with end-stage renal disease are on a waiting list, only about 20 percent will receive a life-saving organ. And the need is only increasing, with about 3,000 being added to that list each month. The GOLD, headquartered in Edgewater, N.J., was launched by Rick Antosh, who donated a kidney to his own son in 1996. For more information, visit: www.giftoflivingdonation.org
– Submitted by Vicki Greenleaf