This week marks the start of National Donate Life Month, which aims to encourage more people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.
Arizona 360 looked at how the issue affects Southern Arizonans, specifically those in need of a kidney transplant.
Dan Vandivort originally received a kidney donation from his mother 14 years ago. Due to complications, his kidney health declined and Dan was given the option to either go back on dialysis, or return to the transplant list. That’s when his wife Jennifer Vandivort decided to explore if she could become a living donor. The couple learned they were a perfect match.
“I swear I never asked for her blood type when we were dating,” said Dan. “It just happened to match up.”
Last August, the couple went through transplant surgery at Banner University Medical Center. They joined Vanessa Barchfield to discuss the process, along with transplant surgeon Tun Jie.
Around 100 people are on the kidney transplant list in Southern Arizona, according to Jie. He explained what resources are available for both recipients and living donors in the region.