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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Health > Spotlight Non-profit: The gift of life for one Latino is a match made — online

Spotlight Non-profit: The gift of life for one Latino is a match made — online

LatinaLista — Today, November 5, 2010, is literally the first day of the rest of Lon Rosado’s life.

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Lon Rosado, a 67-year-old San Diego businessman, suffered a car accident. As a result of the accident, he lost a kidney. Since then, Rosado developed high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

He noticed the classic symptoms of kidney failure setting in. His doctor told him it wouldn’t be long before he would have to go on dialysis unless he received a new kidney.

Yet, getting on a traditional organ donor list to wait for a donated kidney could take more time than what Rosado had. Then he remembered reading a story about an online site that matches donors with living organ recipients.

The site is MatchingDonors.com. By filling out a profile and scouring the profiles the site hosts of organ philanthropists, who want to donate an organ to help someone, Rosado found 25-year-old Luke Neal within 24 hours.

Neal was willing to donate one of his kidneys to Rosado.

After testing that determined Neal was a match, Rosado found the hospital and surgery center that would quickly perform the procedure. He chose Hospital Angeles de Tijuana in Tijuana, Mexico which agreed to perform the transplant. It will be the first transplant in Mexico’s history where both the patient and donor met each other on an Internet website.

MatchingDonors.com was launched in January of 2004 as an Internet service based in Massachusetts. Patients on transplant lists put their profiles on the website, and potential donors browse the site for a life they want to help save. Donors are not compensated, since it is against the law to have any financial benefit from organ donation.

Dr. Jeremiah Lowney, one of the Web site founders, said “Patients are asked to pay a membership fee, but there is a sliding scale if they can’t afford it.”

MatchingDonors.com is now the largest living donor database in the United States, with over 8,693 potential donors registered on the website; it is also now the largest living donor paired exchange database in the United States, with over 1,843 potential paired exchange donors registered on the website; most patient members that have been on the site for at least 30 days have been offered an organ by a potential donor.

“We believe that if more people were better educated on the ability to be a live organ donor, and we add in the personal communication between potential organ donors and patients needing an organ, the number of donors will increase and so will the probability of a patient receiving their much needed organ,” said Dr. Jeremiah Lowney, MatchingDonors.com Medical Director.

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