The recipient, Richard Prince, was diagnosed with bilateral polycystic disease in his 40s. Over the years, cysts formed on his kidneys and they slowly started to fail. In January of 2012, Richard’s doctors told him he would have to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant. Joel immediately volunteered to be the donor, but his dad said no. Richard was worried not only because Joel has three young sons, but also because Joel’s wife only has one kidney.
Joel worked hard to convince Richard to change his mind. After months of testing, Joel found out he was a match. He then flew from Denver to Chicago, where his dad lives. They both underwent surgery and are now doing great! Joel is grateful he was able to give his dad such an amazing gift- a gift that keeps on giving.
Joel now participates in American Transplant Foundation’s 1+1=LIFE Mentorship Program, in which experienced donors, recipients, and caretakers offer peer mentorship to those currently going through the process.
To find out how you can be a living donor, or for more information about the Mentorship Program, call the American Transplant Foundation at: 303-757-0959. You can also email Anastasia Darwish, executive director of the American Transplant Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org