12-12-06December 12, 2006

A local nurse who’s getting the gift of life this Christmas just met her donor in person. Dr. Peter Ostrow tells us this generous donor is giving up a kidney, and she comes from a family of kidney donors!

Diane Krzyzanowski has kidney failure. After two years of hoping, she found a donor, and on Sunday, she met Karyn Anderson, who came all the way from Minneapolis to give Diane one of her kidneys.

Karyn’s sister came also. She gave someone a kidney four and a half years ago.

Monday, Karyn and Diane had their final pre-op medical checks, and Wednesday, they’ll have the surgery.

Dr. Mark Laftavi, Chief of Transplant Services at Kaleida Health, explained that there’s no guarantee of success, or even safety, and every potential donor needs to be sure about going ahead.

Laftavi said, “Any time you feel uncomfortable, or there is any doubt in your mind, that you don’t want to do it, you are absolutely free to do that.”

But Karyn knows that. Her husband donated a kidney to his mother five years ago, and it changed her life.

Anderson said, “When you see someone having to go through dialysis, and dealing with that, and just going, ‘Oh, look, I’m going to have a day of pain’, and I can remove that from them, it’s just an easy choice.”

Karyn’s sister Kathryn, who is a nurse, also donated a kidney, to a woman she worked with. Their family is an inspiration.

Krzyzanowski said, “People say miracles don’t happen, but this is a miracle to me. I can’t believe this girl is coming forward and is just going to give me her kidney. I can’t believe this. I just can’t find words to describe this. It’s incredible.”

“It’s a miracle.” “It’s incredible.” People call them angels. But Karen and Kathryn just think of themselves as ordinary people doing something they can do to help someone who needs help.

You only need one kidney, and each year, thousands of people die because there aren’t enough kidneys to transplant.

It’s something to think about during the holiday season.