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Give the “Gift of Life” this holiday season PDF Print E-mail

Janet Egenberger didn’t hesitate when she was told her sister-in-law Becky was suffering with Polycvstic Kidney Disease and would need dialysis treatments; without being asked, she eagerly offered to be tested as a donor.

“I knew from the beginning that we would be a match.” Janet explains. 

Not only was Janet a match, she was as close to perfect as a sibling would be.

Over 1,500 Nebraskans are currently on dialysis across the state, many waiting for a life-saving transplant. While over 60 percent of kidney transplants come from living donors, there are many more in need, and 275,000 Nebraskans either have or are at risk for developing kidney disease.

Across the country over 109,000 are waiting for an organ, of these almost 80 percent are waiting for a kidney or kidney/pancreas.

Less than half of Nebraskans age 18 and older have registered to become organ donors, yet every 11 seconds the name of someone waiting for a transplant is added to the national registry. 20 people die every day waiting on that list.

Becky was one of the lucky ones. She is very thankful for the enormous sacrifice of Janet and continues to worry about Janet and her family. Janet, however, is not concerned and realizes she can live a full life with one kidney and believes that if she ever needs a kidney, she will find one.  “I gave the gift of life!” she proudly exclaims.

Becky knows the advantages of the transplant are many.  She is able to do so much more than she could: she no longer needs to receive dialysis, which is time-consuming and causes fatigue; is able to work full-time, something she has always done and missed greatly during her time on dialysis; and is able to travel without having to schedule treatments. 

One woman gave the gift of life and her sister-in-law is living it to the fullest.

If not an organ donor, please become one today. Register and find out more information about organ donations by going to www.kidneyne.org and following the link www.nedonation.org or sign the back of a driver’s license whenever renewed.

Take time during the holiday season to make sure the family knows wishes in place when it comes to organ donation.

The Nebraska Kidney Association strives to improve the lives of all Nebraskans through advocacy, education, early disease detection and patient services.