Howard Broadman knew that his grandson would need a kidney transplant within the next decade, and he knew that he was a match…but he also knew that in ten years, he would be too old to donate his kidney when it was needed to save his grandson’s life. He took matters into his own hands and contacted the UCLA Medical Center with a radical new idea that has taken on a life of its own.
His idea was simple: he would donate one of his kidneys now to a complete stranger and in exchange, his grandson would be guaranteed a kidney when the time came. UCLA agreed. They kick started a program that allows living, healthy donors to give a kidney in advance if they knew that a family member would need one in the future.
Broadman had no idea that his idea would reach so far.
The program has already begun to save lives across the country. A teenage girl in New York was given a “gift certificate” that will allow her to receive a kidney when she needs it in a few years after her father donated his to another person in need. He felt that he would be too old when the time came, and this way, he is saving two lives at once.
Nine other transplant centers across the U.S. have implemented the program, and more people are willing to donate kidneys ahead of time.
Most potential donors are scared to donate their kidneys in case a loved one needs one in the future. This program eliminates this fear, and thousands of lives are expected to be saved before the year is up.
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