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Kidney Donation Between Co-Workers

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In 2006, Kiran Ghandi started to feel weak, tired, just not right. At work at the University of Nevada Extended Studies, co-workers, including JoAnne Gipson, were starting to take notice. "I noticed Kiran wasn't looking very healthy. I didn't want to pry too much. I didn't really know her very well. So I asked my boss about her."

Just down the hallway from JoAnne's office, Kiran was facing kidney disease. By early 2007, her kidneys were starting to fail her. She went to UC Davis and was told she needed a kidney transplant and that she would be on the waiting list for 5-7 years on dialysis the entire time. "Luckily I didn't have to go through the dialysis and that's because of my living donor, JoAnne."

That's right. When JoAnn's boss told her about Kiran's health problems she immediately agreed to help her. Even though she new nothing about living donor organ donation. "Well you have to be O negative and well I'm O negative. That's pretty interesting. And I ran back to my office and looked up all the stuff and ran back down and said 'oh, I can donate a liver to you and she said I don't need a liver I need a kidney.   

The two co-workers got to know each other like sister over long walks and a life saving surgery that took place in January of 2008. This new year it will be 5 years of renewed health for Kiran. "So far, so good. I can say I'm feeling good, I'm feeling great."

And 5 years of JoAnne being a life saver. "I'm a baby blood donor also. We talked earlier about being on the bone marrow donor list so I like to volunteer. It's my favorite thing to do in the world, this is a little bit different, but ya know.

This story is part of the Donate Life Nevada "I am Hope" campaign featuring stories of hope and inspiration from Nevada residents. You can see this story and others on www.facebood.com/donatelifenevada and to register as an organ donor go to www.donatelifenevada.org.

Written By Wendy Damonte
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