In 2013, Stacey Donovan was living with her husband and 3 dogs in Prairie Village, Kansas. One day she was reading a magazine and stumbled across an article that was describing the need for more people to donate kidneys. More than half a million people are suffering from kidney failure, and this of course is a conservative estimate.
The only thing that someone with this condition can do is dialysis. Dialysis takes a long time and it is quite a hassles since it is required several times a week. Moreover, it has several side effects like cramps, headaches and vomiting.
The only alternative is to receive a kidney transplant. However, it is a well known fact that there are not many kidneys freely available. The waiting list alone has around 100,000 people on it meaning that it can take years to receive a kidney.
After doing some more research, she decided that she was going to donate her kidney to a stranger. Her family was quite hesitant about it, but she said that, “the one thing that was reassuring for him, and kind of helped me win the debate, was the Affordable Care Act”. The law prevents her from having any rate hike or denial if she needs insurance in the future because of a clause regarding pre-existing conditions. This put her family at ease.
With everyone on-board with her decision, she went through all the necessary steps and finally she was approved and a match was made. She would be donating her kidney to a man in San Diego. The surgery was a success and the man is now doing much better.
However, what happened next was completely unexpected. The man’s wife decided she would also donate her kidney to a stranger, and then the same thing happened with that couple. This chain reaction continued until 7 kidneys were donated as a result of Donovan’s actions.