Right now, 26 million American adults are living with kidney disease. Some 400,000 are on dialysis.
And while more than 98,000 people are on waiting lists for a kidney transplant, less than 12,000 kidney transplants have been performed so far this year, according to the federal government agency that oversees organ transplantation.
That gap has spurred more living kidney donations and a phenomenon known as transplant chains, in which one living donor sets in motion a process that results in multiple people receiving life-saving transplants.
The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published a two-part series on one such transplant chain initiated by a so-called altruistic. The Good Samaritan donates a kidney to someone in need. That recipient has a partner that is willing to donate their kidney, but isn’t a good match for them. So that partner donates to someone who is good match and the chain continues.
In October, one such donor from South Jersey decided to donate a kidney to someone she never met before. This act started a kidney chain that ultimately led to five transplants.
The chain started at Jefferson and traveled through New York, Cincinnati and New Hampshire, ending back here at Jefferson.