MORE THAN 90-THOUSAND AMERICANS ARE ON THE WAITING LIST FOR A KIDNEY DONATION.
IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, IT CAN TAKE UP TO 10 YEARS, AND MANY PEOPLE IN NEED DIE BEFORE AN ORGAN BECOMES AVAILABLE.
MARRIED 49 YEARS...BOB AND SUE BROWN ARE A PERFECT MATCH. "We've always been best friends. Everything we do, we do together."
WHEN SUE NEEDED A KIDNEY, BOB HOPED HE'D BE HER PERFECT MATCH AGAIN.
"He didn't hesitate. He just stepped up to the plate."
BUT BOB WAS 75 AT THE TIME - AND WONDERED IF HE MIGHT BE TOO OLD TO BE A DONOR.
DOCTOR DORRY SEGEV SAYS IT'S A COMMON CONCERN AMONG OLDER PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DONATE.
"You're not too old. If you're healthy, you can donate, even if you're over 70." HE RECENTLY CONDUCTED A STUDY SUPPORTING THAT. IN IT...PATIENTS WHO RECEIVED DONATED KIDNEYS FROM PEOPLE OVER 70 WERE NOT ANY MORE LIKELY TO DIE WITHIN 10 YEARS OF TRANSPLANTATION...COMPARED TO PEOPLE WHO RECEIVED KIDNEYS FROM YOUNGER DONORS. ALSO - THE OLDER DONORS LIVED LONGER THAN NON-DONORS OF THE SAME AGE.
"We are realizing that if somebody is healthy, chronological age is not the same as medical age."
BUT, THE RESEARCH SHOWS KIDNEYS FROM OLDER DONORS ARE MORE LIKELY TO FAIL WITHIN TEN YEARS COMPARED TO KIDNEYS FROM YOUNGER DONORS. THE DOCTOR SAYS THEY ARE STILL A BETTER OPTION THAN WAITING FOR AN ORGAN FROM A DECEASED DONOR - AND THEY COULD HELP LESSEN THE NATIONAL SHORTAGE. "If we can bring forward more healthy older adults, then they can make a huge impact."
BOB WAS ABLE TO DONATE HIS KIDNEY TO SUE...
"She needed one, and I gave it to her."
"He's just that kind of person that does the right thing."
WHILE THEY SHARE KIDNEYS...THE COUPLE LOOKS FORWARD TO SHARING THEIR NEXT BIG ADVENTURE.
THE DOCTOR SAYS OLDER ORGAN DONATIONS ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON.
HE TELLS US OLDER DECEASED DONORS MAY ALSO BE CONSIDERED - AS LONG AS THEIR ORGANS ARE HEALTHY.
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