Lunge for Life: Save Lives by Becoming an Organ Donor

May 6, 2015 Andrew F. Precht, MD

In the United States, nearly 124,000 men, women and children are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Every day, an average of 21 people die waiting for organs they need. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are approximately 3,000 people on the waiting list. Jimmy Murphy, a patient at Swedish, used to be one of them. But Jimmy was lucky enough to have a family member who was an eligible match for a kidney transplant.

Jimmy’s journey to health started two years ago, on his 21st birthday, when he began to notice signs that he didn’t feel right. He went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with Goodpasture Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys. Within 2-3 days of diagnosis, Jimmy’s kidneys were severely damaged.

Before Jimmy could be eligible for a transplant, he had to wait until his disease was in remission, which took about a year. At that point, Jimmy’s family started the testing process. Fortunately, Jimmy’s father, John Murphy, was a match. The transplant surgery was in March. Since then, both have been recovering as well as their care providers hoped and expected.

But not all patients are as lucky as Jimmy to have matching donors within their reach, which is why it’s so critical to spread the word about the importance of becoming an organ donor. To celebrate National Donate Life Month, and to raise awareness, participants from Swedish and Elite Fitness lunged 1.5 miles across the I-90 Bridge. While John and Jimmy Murphy weren’t able to participate because of their recent surgery, they were able to lend their support to the cause.

View photos from the event on Swedish’s Facebook page here. To learn more about organ donation, and register to be a donor, click here.

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