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Southeastern Minnesota Navy veteran asks for the public's help to find a living kidney donor

"Be a hero: Help save my life!" says Thouin's business cards.

Posted: May 6, 2019 7:04 PM
Updated: May 6, 2019 8:07 PM

SPRING VALLEY, Minn. - Dave Thouin served as a Navy Corpsman in the 70s. He worked at Navy hospitals in Boston and Naples, Italy. He's a longtime resident of Spring Valley. Just over a year ago, Thouin says Mayo Clinic told him his kidneys are only expected to function for 3-4 more years. He is on the transplant list, but a kidney from a deceased donor is hard to come by.

Dave and his wife Carol recently attended an organ donation conference and they were encouraged to get the word out about Dave's need. To increase his chances of survival, Dave is advocating for organ donation. He's sending letters to newspapers and military groups in Southeastern Minnesota and all over the country, handing out business cards, and has magnets explaining his situation on his truck.

"I just can't stress enough how important kidney donations or organ donations are," says Thouin.

Thouin also knows how it feels to be on the giving end of a donation. About five years ago, he donated stem cells to his brother to save his life. "You've saved somebody's life. That feeling is absolutely overwhelming. There's no feeling like it," he says.

Dave needs an O positive kidney. If someone is not a match but is still interested in donating, Thouin encourages them to do so to save someone else.

If you're interested in finding out if you are a match or if you'd like to offer support to the Thouin family, you can call Dave at 507-696-7447 or e-mail him at You can contact the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center at 507-266-7868. Click here and here to learn more about kidney transplants and living donors.

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