The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Kidney exchange

Donor and recipient now 'more like family than friends'

Rebecca Krogstad's good humor was evident two days before surgery when she posted on Facebook: "I have parked illegally at the Transplant House in Rochester under the direction of Glenna Glimpse, who will be paying the charges if I get towed."

Glenna Glimpse (left) and Rebecca Krogstad
Glenna Glimpse (left) and Rebecca Krogstad were part of a "paired kidney exchange" in which Krogstad, an ELCA pastor, gave a kidney and Glimpse received one.

There was no parking ticket, but Glimpse would have gladly paid it. After all, the two friends were in Rochester, Minn., so Krogstad could donate a kidney and Glimpse could receive one.

Krogstad, pastor of St. Matthew (Evan, Minn.) and Bethany (Morgan, Minn.) Lutheran churches, and Glimpse were part of a "paired kidney exchange" on May 9. Krogstad's gift allowed two other living donors to exchange kidneys on behalf of recipients who needed them. In such an exchange, the donors aren't a blood or tissue match for their loved one in need of a kidney. The solution: the patients turn to total strangers who are matching donors.

Explained Krogstad before surgery: "Glenna is receiving a kidney from Barb, who is donating on behalf of her sister, Sue, who will receive a kidney from Deron, who is giving on behalf of his wife, Shannon, who will receive my kidney, which I give on behalf of Glenna."

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February issue


Embracing diversity