Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chain, Chain, Chain – Chain of Cool

CBS This Morning didn't mention that this is National Kidney Month when they aired this feature on Friday (March 27). But somebody there had to know, right? I mean, could the timing have been any more perfect?

I awakened to the early-morning news show to see this inspiring story of a dozen people in and around San Francisco – all strangers to each other – who helped make medical history at California Pacific Medical Center: They formed the largest "transplant chain" ever on the West Coast, a six-way exchange of kidneys.

For those of you unfamiliar with this still relatively new process, typically a person donates his or her kidney to a stranger who is a blood type and tissue match for the organ. In turn, the recipient has a relative or friend donate a kidney to another stranger in need, and (like the old TV commercial) so on and so on and so on.

There have been such chains assembled on the Left Coast before, of course, but none that ultimately gave life to six renal patients desperately in need of a transplant.

In the CBS This Morning piece, the organ donors and recipients met in person for the first time. Bring your Kleenex.

Zully Broussard, the woman who initiated the donor chain, lost both her husband and a son to cancer. She did not donate her kidney to benefit any particular person. "I just wanted them to have that quality of life," she says. "I want their loved ones to know that they're going to be around."

Oh, heck – why just talk about it? Why don't you watch this report from CBS correspondent Carter Evans for yourself?