STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Living organ donor kick-starts chain reaction, helps to save 8 lives

"There's people who are very very difficult to match and finding that living donor is like finding a needle in a haystack. If I might have been that needle I couldn't help but make my way forward to the top of that stack," said Reuss.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 8:14 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Are you the missing link in a chain that could save someone's life?
We so often hear about the need for organ donors, and while many donors are deceased, living donors are growing in popularity.
2019 was a record setting year for living donors. Nearly 7,400 living donor transplants took place, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
In 2018, 76-percent of all kidney transplants at Mayo Clinic in Rochester were from living donors.
Not everyone who goes under the knife as a living donor knows who will be the lucky recipient of their life saving organ donation.
"Last year in 2019, for the 3 sites of Mayo Clinic, we had 19 non-directed donors," said Kay Kosberg, Mayo Clinic's Kidney Care Donor Care Coordinator.
That's where Good Samaritans like Danielle Reuss come into play.
Reuss was a non-directed organ kidney donor.
Little did she know that her selfless giving would kick-start a chain reaction of living donors, known as the Paired Kidney Exchange Program.
"Danielle donated to the first recipient and their donor went on to donate to the next recipient and then kind of on down the line a domino effect," explained Kosberg.
Kosberg helps to pair up people who want to donate to a loved one but for whatever reason they're not a match.
"So we would basically swap donors. Your donor would donate to someone else's recipient and then their donor would donate back to your recipient," said Kosberg.
Reuss is a Transplant Social Worker at Mayo Clinic and has witnessed the struggles her patients endure while waiting for a life-saving organ.
"There's people who are very very difficult to match and finding that living donor is like finding a needle in a haystack. If I might have been that needle I couldn't help but make my way forward to the top of that stack," said Reuss.
The furthest thing from wanting accolades for her generosity, Reuss kept it under wraps for more than a year that she donated a kidney.
While the majority of living donors have a recipient in mind, Reuss is proof that you don't have to know who you're giving the gift of life too, in order to save someone.
If you're interested in learning about being a living or deceased donor head to Donate Life America and HRSA.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55947

Reported Deaths: 1654
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin17789819
Ramsey6861261
Dakota3942102
Anoka3327112
Stearns281720
Washington188643
Nobles17456
Olmsted162023
Scott136214
Mower10782
Rice9898
Blue Earth8485
Wright8015
Carver7692
Clay74340
Kandiyohi6701
Sherburne6387
St. Louis42719
Todd4182
Lyon4153
Freeborn3541
Steele3271
Nicollet30713
Benton3043
Watonwan2980
Winona24516
Crow Wing20613
Martin2035
Le Sueur1991
Beltrami1910
Chisago1761
Goodhue1758
Otter Tail1753
Cottonwood1710
Pipestone1439
Becker1421
McLeod1350
Unassigned13540
Douglas1290
Itasca12912
Polk1293
Waseca1280
Pine1260
Carlton1240
Dodge1220
Murray1221
Isanti1080
Chippewa971
Brown832
Meeker832
Morrison831
Faribault820
Sibley782
Wabasha780
Koochiching733
Rock730
Jackson700
Pennington701
Mille Lacs643
Fillmore610
Cass582
Renville585
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau450
Houston400
Pope390
Norman340
Redwood300
Aitkin280
Hubbard280
Kanabec281
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake190
Lake170
Stevens150
Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45592

Reported Deaths: 877
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9709202
Woodbury364250
Black Hawk299762
Linn208987
Johnson191815
Dallas178735
Buena Vista178412
Scott159012
Dubuque152729
Marshall138324
Pottawattamie121223
Story111013
Wapello84531
Muscatine82448
Crawford7153
Webster7125
Sioux5932
Cerro Gordo58117
Tama53729
Warren5261
Jasper45424
Plymouth4438
Wright4411
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3123
Washington28710
Hamilton2391
Boone2282
Franklin2134
Bremer1877
Clarke1853
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1660
Shelby1591
Marion1520
Allamakee1494
Poweshiek1468
Benton1421
Des Moines1392
Jackson1391
Mahaska13617
Guthrie1265
Floyd1242
Jones1231
Cedar1201
Hancock1162
Butler1132
Pocahontas1131
Henry1123
Buchanan1101
Lyon1000
Madison1002
Cherokee971
Clayton973
Harrison960
Taylor930
Lee923
Delaware901
Monona900
Humboldt891
Iowa881
Winneshiek821
Calhoun812
Mills810
Sac810
Fayette790
Jefferson780
Palo Alto780
Kossuth770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page740
Winnebago730
Grundy721
Union701
Monroe667
Worth610
Chickasaw500
Davis491
Howard480
Cass471
Appanoose433
Lucas434
Montgomery433
Greene380
Fremont360
Van Buren311
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur210
Ringgold211
Adair200
Adams160
Wayne151
Unassigned70
Rochester
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 44°
Mason City
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 43°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 50°
Austin
48° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 48°
Charles City
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 50°
Starting the week of dry
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Campaign signs in Albert Lea

Image

Campaign signs go missing in Albert Lea

Image

Run the Woods race

Image

Don Bosco scores two in the 6th, stuns Newman for state title

Image

Pine Island holds community resource drive

Image

Pop up event for the homeless

Image

Seans 8/1 Weather

Image

Cruisin' for Cancer 2020

Image

Day Center for the Homeless to Move

Image

Popular Iowa tennis court hosts tournament

Community Events