Stories of Hope

See how organ, eye and tissue donation has healed lives.

Jim, living kidney donor

Jim’s story starts over 30 years ago, when he began working as a nurse at a Franciscan sponsored healthcare system in Pennsylvania. Jim first met Matt in the halls of this hospital. They were both just starting their careers, and bonded over being some of the only men (and class clowns) in their female-dominated profession.

Over their years of friendship, Jim watched as Matt battled numerous health-related issues. Matt always remained positive, never complaining or losing hope. Last summer, though, Matt’s kidneys were failing, and doctors told him that he would need a transplant in order to survive.

Jim admits that he originally offered to donate his kidney half jokingly. However, when all six of Matt’s siblings were not matches, suddenly Jim’s offer became more serious. After discussing his decision with his family, Jim underwent the necessary tests. Remarkably, Jim was found to be a match for Matt, and the surgery was scheduled.

Prior to his donation, while on a trip to Assisi, Italy, Jim was inspired to buy two Pope Francis pectoral crosses for both he and Matt to wear. “I wanted him to know that, just like the parable depicted on the cross, the Good Shepherd will be with us and carry us on His shoulders when we can’t walk.”

Jim’s gift of a kidney not only gave life back to his friend and coworker, but also made it possible for Matt to enjoy more time as a husband, father and grandfather. Like many people, Jim never considered living donation until he had a friend in need. But once the situation presented itself, Jim “couldn’t wait to be a part of this miraculous process!”

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95% of Americans are in favor of being a donor but only 58% are registered.
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