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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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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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