According to National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, there are over 87,000 people in the U.S. awaiting transplants. One of those patients, a five-year-old boy named Vincent, is now removed from the list thanks to Katelyn Rankin-Woeste, a courageous 21-year-old woman who today donates a kidney to save his life.
I’d like to offer an interview with Rankin-Woeste to discuss her
life-changing decision. An active blood donor and mother of a
seven-month-old daughter, Rankin-Woeste abides by the “pay it forward”
motto and is relying on the goodwill of others to help cover her
post-surgery expenses through donations to Cincinnati.MD, a branch of YourCity.MD (YCMD) which she successfully utilized to easily find a surgeon for this upcoming procedure.
I had a chance to interview Katelyn about the process.
1) What inspired your decision to donate a kidney?
In 2008 I watched an episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy that involved a
domino kidney donation surgery. After that I was intrigued to at some
point donate one of my kidneys. Especially after having a child of my
own, I felt more of an urge to do this for not only for Vincent but for
his parents whom have been by his side through his first five years of
life in and out of the hospital. After meeting Vincent I had an
uncontrollable desire to be sure I was tested. I couldn't have lived
with myself knowing I hadn't been tested just to see if I was a match.
2) What post-surgery expenses are there that haven't been covered by insurance?
Post-surgery expenses are mainly involving co-pays to my doctor
visits and billing that isn't covered after surgery. I was
re-hospitalized less than 24 hours of being released from the hospital
(after surgery) because of a fever and because I went to the ER, I have
an automatic cost of $150 on top of all the x-rays, ultrasounds, tests,
etc. Everything adds up quickly and after taking time off work, I don't
have extra hundreds of dollars laying around to pay off my medical
3) How can people who want to be living organ donors find out more information?
My story from beginning to end is being covered and updated
exclusively through the 500 .MD cities and all 50 .MD states covered by www.YourCity.MD a national healthcare resource that helped me find my local doctors. See www.Cincinnati.MD or any of the other 500 city healthcare portals found at www.MyCity.MD. You can follow my blog to read about my personal experience and are
able to comment on my blogs where I can read and answer any questions!
There is tons of information on the Internet, you just have to pick
through carefully. http://donatelife.net/
is a great site to learn about living donation, how to get onto the
living donor registry, as well as deceased donation. Those are my
Organ donation is such a helpful thing, medically. Even if you have chronic medical conditions, you can still often qualify to donate. For example, I have a mild heart condition, but if I were to die suddenly, my lungs, kidneys, and liver could all be used to save someone else's life. I encourage you to consider at least being listed as an organ donor upon death and letting your family know your wishes, and if you are so moved, consider being a living donor as well.