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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014

News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Doctors praise organ matching

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

By Sean D. Hamill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Four years ago when Corey Joiner learned he was a bad match to donate a kidney to his friend, Denise Fowkes, he decided he still wanted to help.

He turned to the then still-fledgling concept of a paired kidney exchange.

Under such an arrangement, Mr. Joiner would donate to someone who was a match with him, and a donor associated with that person would give a kidney to Ms. Fowkes.

For more than three years, nothing happened, and Ms. Fowkes continued the grueling, four-hour-a-day, three-times-a-week dialysis treatments as she had since 1998.

"I was really getting discouraged," said Ms. Fowkes, 41, an Eat'n Park waitress from Export who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 8.

She didn't know then that she and Mr. Joiner were about to become involved in one of the largest paired kidney exchange chains in the United States that would result in 12 people getting new kidneys over the last three months.

The chain would involve nine hospitals across seven states, with donors and recipients spread from California to New York and points in between -- including Allegheny General Hospital, where Ms. Fowkes received her new kidney in February.

To read more, visit the Post-Gazette website.

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