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Facebook Friend Donates Kidney To Stranger

ROYAL OAK (WWJ) - With the prospect of a three to five-year wait for a kidney, 35-year-old Jeff Kurze and his wife, Roxy of Warren, turned to Facebook. Much to their surprise, Ricky Cisco, 25, of Royal Oak replied to Roxy's posting expressing interest in being a donor for her husband.

After subsequent testing Cisco was declared a match.

The transplant took place at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak on March 30.  Both patients are hospitalized and in good condition.

""When I heard about Ricky's willingness to donate a kidney to me I didn't believe it. It was hand to breathe. I was in total disbelief that this was happening," says Kurze, a computer salesman. "He didn't know me. Once I met him and saw what a terrific guy he is, it's even better. Over the past few months we've become good friends. I hang out with him once a week."

"I"ve always wanted to be a hero, but I'm not very strong. I can't lift anything. I can't save people in traditional ways, but I have an extra kidney," says Cisco, who manages a makeup studio.

L) Ricky Cisco donor and Jeff Kurze (Credit: Beaumont Facebook)


Says Alan Koffron, M.D., director, multi-organ transplantation and interim chair of Beaumont's department of Surgery, "The need for organ donations is great, but thanks to greater public awareness, more people like Ricky are considering the donation of a kidney to family, friends and even strangers. And there's no better time to consider a donation than during April-national organ donor awareness month."

One in nine Americans has kidney disease. In 2010, 16,899 kidney transplants were performed in the United States, 521 of those in Michigan. Nationwide about 93,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney transplant, including 2,494 in Michigan.

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