Friday, October 30, 2020

Happiness is donating a kidney

Lisa and Ed Balcita

     Surging COVID-19 doesn’t mean other ailments take a holiday. People still cope with the usual range of illness, though the pandemic tends to add complications.
     Take Ed and Lisa Balcita, of Berwyn.
     Ed had kidney failure from decades of diabetes. In 2017, he went on the transplant list, where he did what people do on transplant lists. He waited.
     The average wait for a kidney is about four years. About 100,000 people are waiting, and each year, about 5,000 of them die waiting. Ed’s kidney function dropped to 10 percent of normal while he was on the list, waiting.
     Sometimes a spouse will donate a kidney. Ed’s wife certainly wanted to.
     “When the doctor told me, ‘Perhaps a living donor...’ I knew right away I was going to be tested,” said Lisa.
     But she wasn’t a match. Ed’s body would reject her kidney. Nor could Lisa be part of a chain donation — where one donor gives a kidney to a second recipient, paired with a donor who isn’t a match either, and that donor gives to a third recipient, whose donor gives to another, until they reach someone who can give to the original recipient in the first pair.
     Another problem: Lisa has AB blood. The rarest kind, found in just 4 percent of the population.

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  1. Just curious, what does the McDonald's at Randolph/Dearborn, in the former Oliver Typewriter Building have to do with this?

  2. Nothing. I only had the shot of the couple, and that wouldn't work blown across the top of the blog. I could have found some generic medical shot, but that seemed not worth the searching. And where was this rather telling photo I took yesterday while reporting on the election downtown. Seemed the best use of the space.

  3. It's a heartwarming story, but one can't help thinking that miraculous cures would be less needed if fewer people became "morbidly obese."


  4. An uplifting, feel-good story amidst all of the sturm und drang. Best wishes for continued health and happiness to them both.

  5. It takes real courage to donate a kidney. So many things can go wrong. A fellow who used to work for me, Chris, donated his kidney to his partner, who was in bad shape and on dialysis. His partner came out of it just fine, but Chris almost died when he suddenly got a blood clot that traveled to his lungs. His partner went home while Chris stayed in the hospital and subsequently was put on blood thinners for a year.


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