Paired Kidney Donation Gives Gift of Life
to Four Families
When Barbara Asofsky was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in 2002, she knew she would experience progressive loss of kidney function. When that happened, her husband Doug didn’t hesitate a second in offering to donate one of his kidneys to her.
Unfortunately, his kidney was not a match. Like 90,000 other Americans currently on the waiting list for kidney transplants, Barbara would have to wait for a matching donor.
As it turned out, she didn’t have to wait long. A matching kidney was available from an altruistic donor, Anthony DeGiulio, who offered to donate his kidney to anyone who needed it. That random act of kindness set in motion a four-way paired donation that saved Barbara’s life.
In a marathon series of surgeries that involved nearly 50 clinicians working in eight operating rooms at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Barbara received Anthony DeGiulio’s kidney; Doug donated his kidney to a 22-year-old college student, whose father donated his kidney to a Poughkeepsie, N.Y. man. That man’s sister, in turn, donated her kidney to a man from New York City.
Paired donations, which match incompatible donor/recipient pairs with others, represent an increasing number of kidney transplants each year.
Barbara and Doug Asofsky are longtime friends and volunteers of the American Kidney Fund. They were recently honored as Humanitarians of the Year at AKF’s 6th Annual New York Spring Event. Anthony DeGiulio, now a close friend of the Asofskys, joined them in New York for the event.
For more information on living donation and transplantation:
Transplant Living, www.transplantliving.org
Donate Life America, www.donatelife.net