Utah mother, first in the beehive state to become a two-time living organ donor.

A generous and brave #Utah woman is only one of about 150 Americans to have gifted, not one, but two organs for donation!

Kate and Eva

 Photo by: Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital
Posted at 10:48 AM, May 04, 2023
SALT LAKE CITY — Donating an organ to save the life of another is a supreme act of compassion, and one Utah woman in the state has made this gift twice.

Kate, a 37-year-old mother, is the only two-time living organ donor in the state, and among only 155 people nationwide who have donated both a kidney and part of their liver to save the lives of others.

One recipient was two-year-old Eva, who received a liver transplant at Intermountain Children’s Hospital to save her life. The girl was a total stranger who now proudly shows off her scar from the procedure.

Kate also donated a kidney to a woman she met while working in the Washington, D.C., area.

Living-donor liver transplants occur when a portion of a living person’s liver is removed and surgically placed into another person. After the surgery, the donor’s liver regenerates to its regular size within about two months.

In the recipient, the transplanted liver grows to fit his or her body, and functions as a healthy liver.

Living donor liver transplants not only significantly increase the number of available organs for children waiting for a transplant, but they also reduce the waiting time for children who urgently require a liver transplant, saving their lives,” said Cecile Aguayo, Pediatric Transplant Services Director at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

Kate became interested in being a living organ donor in the early 2000s.

A friend who worked in the same building had a disease affecting her kidneys, and after discovering they had the same blood type, Kate offered to become her donor.

When Kate moved to Utah, she contacted Primary Children’s Hospital and offered to donate part of her liver to help a child in need.

Baby Eva, who was being treated for biliary atresia since she was just two months old, became the second recipient of Kate’s amazing generosity.

“It was nine months of waiting (for a matching liver donor),” said Eva’s mom, Alyssa Anderson.

Without intervention, her liver would have failed, and she would have died. Most kids with this disease years ago wouldn’t have even lived to see their first birthday.”

Eva’s mom said she was “kind of starstruck” meeting Kate, another mother just like her.

“I wanted to show her all the pictures and make sure she understood that she saved my baby’s life,” she added. “All of our family is so grateful to her.”

Kate says kindness “makes you day to help,” even doing something as simple as opening a door for someone.

“So imagine the opportunity to donate and save someone’s life.”

Find out more about living organ donations here: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/primary-childrens/programs-specialties/transplant/living-donation/

 

https://www.fox13now.com/

Thank you Kidney Kars / TowKars.org

Dear National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho,

I’ve thought of all of you who work to bring life and hope to those who need a little help.
The NKF of UT & ID is truly making a difference and I am grateful to you for making it possible and easy for the rest of us…
Best,
W. Kirk

Who Your Charity Kidney Kars / TowKars.org Donation Helps in Utah

I am writing this letter of support for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho. I have worked with
this program as a renal social worker for over 17 years. They have consistently been the best, quickest
and most compassionate entity, that I have worked with to help my dialysis patients. They have many
services that help patients from the mundane to the life changing.
The National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho have helped my patients in many ways with their
emergency grants. Dialysis can be very disruptive to a person’s life. It can be difficult to maintain
employment while on dialysis, due to fatigue, illness and lack of available time due to dialysis
treatments. Many of the patients I have worked with have been financial devastated. They live with
razor thin margins and any disruption to their finances can send them spiraling towards a financial
disaster.
This is where the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho is so vital. They make it so that patients
can weather many of the financial worries that come from being on dialysis. Recently, they have helped
to prevent evictions, fix cars, and to help patients keep utility services going. Many of my patient’s
quality of life would be diminished without the programs of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and
Idaho and several would have their financial and medical health imperiled without their programs.
Another program that is phenomenal that they do every year is their Family Kidney Camps. I have
several patients, that this program is the one thing that they really look forward to every year. It gives
people a chance to feel normal and have fun with other people in similar circumstances. I have had
many patients go, who were struggling with isolation and depression, that came back from it with a
happy glow and a resolve to work to get a transplant or embrace dialysis and to feel better. It is not
uncommon to hear a patient refer to something they learned or describe an insight that changed their
emotional outlook regarding their lives and how they live with End Stage Renal disease. It is something
patients’ whole families will look forward to. For many of them this is one of the few moments that they
can relax, laugh and recharge. It is especially important for younger dialysis patients, who get a chance
to meet others sharing the same burdens and to share their hopes, fears, and laughter.
I offer my strongest endorsement for these and the many other programs of the National Kidney
Foundation of Utah and Idaho. They truly improve the quality of life for so many of my patients.
Sincerely,

Matt Groen LCSW

Why Donate Your car to TowKars.org

For a little fun, we let AI write us a blog post.  Curious about how it went? Here it is:

There are plenty of reasons to donate your car to TowKars.org, but here are just a few: TowKars is a nonprofit organization that helps people in need. Your car can help them do just that. Their car donation process is quick and easy, and you can easily schedule a pickup time right on their website. They accept most vehicles regardless of their condition, including running and non-running cars, trucks, and motorcycles.  You can receive a tax deduction for your donation, which makes the entire process even more worthwhile!
Donating your car can be a great way to contribute to a great cause and help others in your community with kidney disease in Utah and Idaho. The people at TowKars.org truly do make a difference in kidney patients’ lives every single day. If you want to make a donation and help support their cause, donate your car at https://towkars.org/donate/ for more information.

 

I’m not convinced it can do a better job than I can.  I make many more mistakes, which has to to count as original content. haha.

 

Why should you donate your car in Utah to towKars.org

Utah finally has two worthy LOCAL charities taking charity car donations

For 32 years, The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho has been the only charity in Utah who accepts vehicle donations for the sole purpose of directly benefitting Utahans. Recently, I was so happy to see that the Utah Food Bank has begun a pretty robust car donation program.  It’s wonderful Utah has another local non-profit dedicated to vital human services, that can further benefit local Utahans in need.  While towKars.org / Kidney Kars of Utah was Utah’s original (even one of the country’s first) and still number one choice in car donation these past 32 years; we are grateful that there for another Utah charity partner accepting vehicle donations to benefit those who suffer food instability while in Utah.  Since 1990 the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho has accepted charity car donations.  Unfortunately over those many years, hundreds of other copy-cat or sound-alike charities started their own car donation programs and began advertising on the internet.  Some of them have even used the trademarked/copyrighted name “Kidney Cars” in their Google AdWords to confuse donors into thinking they are donating to towKars.org (Kidney Kars).  It’s unfortunate, because making a mistake like that, won’t benefit anyone in Utah at all. Most of those other “charity” car donation programs have no office, staff, presence or services in Utah.  To make matters worse, many of those using sponsored or Google AdWords advertising are managed not by the charity itself, but by businesses and call centers who take a hefty cut (between $200-250 per car).  But you can be assured you’re donation will used locally when donating using towKars.org

 Too frequently people confuse Kars4Kids with Kidney Kars (towkars.org)

While every legitimate charity car donation program likely provides meanwhile and valuable services–Kidney Kars is meant to benefit Utahans only.  Kidney Cars purpose is transparent: to provide emergency medical funding to Utahans with kidney failure, to prevent kidney failure in Utah and promote kidney donation in Utah. Kidney failure is the single most expensive ongoing, life-saving medical therapy in America.  Insurance companies and the government combined spend BILLIONS of dollars a year on the 200,000 people experiencing kidney disease. Dialysis and kidney transplant is expensive.   Any kind of medical crises in America is expensive.  But unfortunately kidney disease has no cure.  Zero.  The only way to sidestep dying of kidney failure, is to qualify for a kidney transplant.  But even then, not everyone is ‘healthy’ enough to qualify for the transplant waiting list.  Kidney Kars donations help pay not only for health and human services for those in deepest medical crises (housing, utilities, specialized medical nutrition, transportation), Kidney Kars donations also help pay for dental work. Most don’t realize that one cavity, or untreated gum disease will keep you off the transplant waiting list.  As a matter of fact, I’m of the opinion that anyone who successfully navigates the transplant waiting list, finds a donor and receives a successful kidney transplant surgery should receive an honorary MPA (Masters of Public Administration).  It is no easy thing to find your way through that process, while you’re sick on dialysis.  So the emergency funding provided by the generous Utahans who donate their car to Kidney Kars is literally providing”Life Blood” to those served by the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho.

towKars.org / Kidney Kars has been Utah’s original and most legitimate charity car donation since 1990

So if you are of the mind to keep your charity car donation local, please keep towKars.org in mind (and tell a friend!).

Thank you for reading!

Completely Refurbished 1947 Autocar C70 — Donated to the NKF of Utah & Idaho !

We think this truck is deserving of a spot at the Autocar Headquarters in Birmingham, AL or Hagerstown, IN.

This 1947 Autocar C70 was completely restored in 2011 by one of Utah’s leading commercial trucking CEO’s.  The drivetrain is rebuilt, has a gas engine 125 HP, and a twin trans 5 X 3.  It is truly a perfectly restored piece of history. This was a passion project refurbished for commercial truck shows around the region.  Because of it’s size and age- top speed is 45 MPH.

In 2012 it was auctioned off with 100% of the funds raised given to the NKF of Utah & Idaho. This year, the 2011 buyer gave the truck back to original owner (still in perfect condition) to be donated and sold again for the benefit of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho. It is an indication of the generosity and kindness of our community that overwhelms us and blesses the lives of Utah dialysis patients.

If interested, please contact us at (801) 226-5111 / luz@kidneyut.orgYou can visit the listing on the American Historical Truck Society here:  https://aths.org/backlot/139965/1947-autocar-c70/utah/usa/trucks/

Dear National Kidney Foundation of Utah

Thank you to all the donors who made my scholarship possible.  I am so grateful you saw my potential and for giving me this chance.  I appreciate all the work you do in asking for donations, so someone like me can make something of themselves in spite of kidney failure.  I appreciate all the back and forth that went on to pay for my tuition and some for housing.  I appreciate the patience you had for this process.  It is always a fear of mine; not having had enough money (because of medical expenses) to spare for school and technical training.  My medical bills are unreal, which as a young person, is hard.  It really lifted a weight off my shoulders having one less expense (tuition/housing).  It might not have even been possible without the scholarship.  I have been stressed out starting school soon, but I am so grateful to you.  Your support will help me enjoy my classes just a little bit more!  Thanks again for all you do, and to all the people who donate their car to Kidney Kars who make it possible!  I can now continue to work to pay for bills AND receive higher education/training so one day I can work a legit job.  Sending my best to all of you, for your kindness to me!

-B Jorgensen

No more imunosupressants?

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-kidney-transplant-approach-eliminate-need-immune-drugs-report-find-rcna33833?fbclid=IwAR0EP0dv4HCP9yNS4WaNyQin5KmzkH0Aa-2-d0oy3kWQnxt5KSYN22AcY-U

I read an one of the most exciting things I’ve read in a long time on NBC news about kidney (and organ) transplantation!  It’s about a new technique — called a dual immune/solid organ transplant that was performed on two children who received kidney transplants at Stanford Medical Center. It involves a stem cell transplant that trains the immune system not to reject a donated kidney (or organ). The protocol (used recently at Stanford) isn’t new, but its success is.  This technique could replace life long suppression of the immune system by taking immunosuppressive drugs and steroids so the body’s immune system won’t reject a donated kidney.  In essence, the donated kidney could last indefinitely inside of a recipient; or at least much longer–and without pharmaceutical immunosuppressant. It could reduce the number of times each transplant recipient might need a kidney (due to rejection).  In each case, a parent donated stem cells taken from bone marrow, as well as a kidney. The end goal of transplantation is achieve “immune tolerance,” meaning that the body doesn’t view a donated organ as foreign a threat to the body. We are moving much closer to this reality.  This is amazing news for the over 90,000 Americans currently awaiting a life saving organ (80% of which need a kidney).  The advances in kidney / organ transplantation in the last 30 years is truly amazing science.

Peter Quaife of the Kinks on “The Ligher Side of Dialysis”

The bassist for the The Kinks was on kidney dialysis for 11 years?

Peter Quaife / The Kinks

I’ve worked for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho for a long time.  So today I was clearing our shelves of dusty, outdated kidney patient support and services pamphlets (that are all now available online) when I ran into this little ditty.

How did I miss this?

I had worked for the Kidney Foundation of Utah for 7 years when Peter Quaife started dialysis treatments.  I’d worked here for 12 the year he ultimately passed away from kidney failure.  I’m kind of devastated.  I thought I knew all the famous people who were on dialysis or who’d had a kidney transplant (Gary Coleman, George Lopez, Selina Gomez, Nick Cannon, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Hyland).  But somehow I’d missed Peter Quaife, The Kink’s bassist. I can sing at least 7 of their top 10 songs by heart like every other kid who lived through the 1970’s.  I looked over all his sketches, and read each joke thinking about the artist, a former rock star, sitting on dialysis letting the difficulty of that, fuel his wicked humor.  The English are so much better at the ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘self effacing’ humor than Americans to begin with.  But I found myself really admiring the spirit of rebellious observation in which he drew cartoons and jokes about some really awful realities of dialysis.  Dark humor is always the best humor in my book.  I think that’s what makes it so delicious.  I’m on the hunt now for Volume 2, which I guess I’ll have to find on abebooks.com if all else fails.  But I am sad that I missed this chapter.  I am a little younger than Mr. Quaife was when he went on dialysis.  No one wants to go on dialysis, or have their kidneys fail.  There are a lot of depressed people on dialysis trying to make the most out of life, and mourning the life they had ‘before’ dialysis.  I don’t know about you, but being a freaking rock star, like LEGIT British Invasion rock star, would be a hard thing to mourn the loss of.  I’m certain he’d settle way down by the time his kidneys were failing.  But wow.  He’d been bigger than life, toured the world –one of the hippest cats out of England.  And kidney failure still found him.

Famous People Do Their Best

We hardly even heard about George Lopez and Selena Gomez having kidney failure. They didn’t seem to miss a beat between kidney failure and kidney transplant. Unless you follow them on Instagram or something, who knew? Other kidney patients, that’s who.  But no famous person on dialysis, to my knowledge,  ever sat down to write a book (and really marinate) about how much dialysis sucks.  And then also make it funny. So today, 12 years too late I’m honoring the memory of Peter Quaife “He Really Got me Now.”  So I’m sharing my personal favorite sketches from The Lighter Side of Dialysis, Volume 1.  I’ll keep you updated when I find  Volume 2.

Salty joke

He’s making fun of medieval blood letting. But ironically, the enzyme in leeches is actually how dialysis works.

Bananas are not very ap-peeling.

A Special Tribute to Senator Orrin G. Hatch, National Kidney Foundation of Utah’s first Honorary Chairman

As Honorary Chairman of the Board of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, we honored Senator Hatch with the Gift of Life Award in 1988. He helped craft legislation that made kidney transplant and immunosuppressive drugs accepted therapies covered by private insurance and Medicare at a time people could either afford to pay out of pocket or could not receive these miracles of medical advancement. Here is an excerpt from the Program that is particularly relevant to all those who suffer kidney disease: “A night to honor Senator Orrin G. Hatch for his leadership in the US Senate establishing the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Act of 1983, his efforts in furthering funding for ongoing accessibility of immunosuppressive drugs, his strong commitment to biomedical research, his leadership in initiating and supporting health care legislation, continuing advocacy of home health care services. We salute you Senator Hatch for your compassion and dedication to better health care for all Americans.”

As Ronald Regan said of Senator Hatch on the occasion of his award: “Orrin is one of the most responsible, hard-working members of the US Senate. He lives right, he thinks right, and he cares deeply about the people who sent him to Washington. He is a representative the people of Utah can be proud of.”

This photo was sent to us yesterday by one of our NKFU&I staff members during a private tour of the United States Capitol Building. We are grateful to remember one of our first NKF of Utah champions because of what he did first and foremost, to promote and support organ donation and kidney transplantation as biomedical pioneer champion.