Chicago Doctor Donates Kidney to Save Two Lives


Apr 6, 2023

Chicago Doctor Donates Kidney to Save Two Lives

Chicago Doctor Donates Kidney, Sparking Life-Changing Domino Effect for Two Patients

A physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has decided to donate a kidney to a stranger, ultimately helping save two lives in the process.

An Inspiring Decision

Dr. Aleksandra Gmurcyk, a nephrologist, encounters patients with kidney failure daily. She wanted to make a difference by donating her kidney, knowing that individuals can live healthy lives with just one. She also hoped to inspire others to become donors.

Overcoming Veteran Patients' Distrust

The 46-year-old kidney specialist works at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, where many veterans she treats express reluctance to undergo a transplant due to distrust in the medical system. To demonstrate the life-changing potential of a kidney transplant, Gmurcyk decided to donate one of her own kidneys.

Kidney Paired Donation: A Domino Effect

Instead of choosing a single recipient, Gmurcyk contributed her kidney to a pool in the hopes that it would help more than one person. On February 16, she initiated a kidney paired donation, a process in which donors swap recipients to ensure better compatibility. Gmurcyk's kidney went to a hard-to-match patient from Virginia whom she had never met, while that patient's husband donated his kidney to a Northwestern Medicine patient in Chicago.

Praise and Admiration

Dr. John Friedewald, Medical Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, called this process the transplant world's perfect "domino effect." He expressed the hospital team's admiration for Gmurcyk's decision to give the gift of life.

The Impact

Art Reyes, a 51-year-old Chicago resident, experienced the life-altering impact of kidney failure firsthand after diabetes caused irreversible damage. Reyes was ultimately selected to receive a kidney as a result of Gmurcyk's donation.

The Ongoing Need for Kidney Donations

Currently, 90,000 people in the United States await a kidney donation, with 85% of patients on organ donation waiting lists needing a kidney, according to Donate Life America. The CDC estimates that more than 1 in 7 adults in the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease. If you are inspired to save a life and donate a kidney, you can find out how to do so in this article.

Related Articles

How to Become a Kidney Donor

How Organ Donation and Transplantation Works

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Chicago doctor donates kidney to stranger, starts chain that saves 2 lives.

About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

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This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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