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How an organ transplant can save lives in New Jersey and across the nation

Donating an organ has the potential to save multiple lives and you can provide someone in need with the gift of life. In the final installment of our three-part series we hear from a woman whose outlook on life changed after receiving a transplant.

Birmingham Hospital Conducts Kidney Transplant
Birmingham Hospital Conducts Kidney Transplant (Christopher Furlong, Getty Images)


January 27, 2014 was the day Dorthea Duffy’s life changed for the better with a new kidney after being on dialysis for nearly four years following a diagnoses of renal kidney failure.

It was the result, she says, of an autoimmune disease known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis.

“It’s a very uncommon disease and it’s not genetic or contagious and they really do not know the source of it,” said Duffy.

Following a trip to the Emergency Room where she was diagnosed in 2010, she was put on dialysis and onto a transplant list for a new kidney that September.

“Even though they tried to get my kidneys to work again, it wasn’t successful, so my doctor then recommended that I get put on a waitlist for a transplant,” said Duffy.

As explained in part-two of our series, donating an organ has the potential to save multiple lives all at once where you can provide someone in need with the gift of life…liver or kidney as a living donor and other organs if you’re a registered donor at the DMV that could be donated upon your passing.

Duffy’s outlook on life went from an unknown over the future to what she describes today as “great” following the 2014 transplant.

Like so many others who’ve waited on the transplant list for any period of time and received a kidney or other organ, she says she’s thankful like any other donee who is able to receive this gift of life from a donor.

“That has to be the most beautiful gift you could every give anybody in your life,” said Duffy. “It’s just the most beautiful thing you can do.”

While she was on the wait list she advocated for others as well in hopes they would also receive a kidney from a donor.

“I just prayed that someone who come forward who would be a match, not necessarily just for me, but I was trying to promote organ donation for anybody that would be in need,” said Duffy.

All these years later, an New Jersey Sharing Network success story and donee, she offers hope for those who are now where she was before a transplant.

One suggestion she offers for anyone currently waiting on a transplant list is to get as physically healthy as they can.

“Take care of your body so that you’re ready when the opportunity comes for you to get that transplant,” said Duffy.

She says waiting can be hard but she encourages you to have faith and know that you are not alone.

“Your support system is not just your family and friends but it’s the doctors and the nurses that care for you as well,” said Duffy.

Becoming an organ donor is a big decision in not just their own life but for many more by their selfless gift of hope and love.

Dorthea Duffy who was a recipient of a kidney transplant over three years ago encourages you to dig within and give.

“They can save someone’s life, they can make a difference in someone’s life,” said Duffy.

While living donations can only transplant a liver and kidney, should you register at the DMV, upon your passing up to eight total can help others.

Ready to make the big decision? To donate an organ click here.

If you missed any part of our series so far or if you want to read again and share here are the first-two parts:

Finding hope, finding organs: How donating organs helps save lives

How you can help thousands of Americans in need of a kidney or liver

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