Pastor to give kidney to church member

Rev. Greg Welin to donate kidney to parishioner/ContributedNEW MILFORD — On the surface, this is a story about three sisters, two kidneys, and a priest. It’s also a story of gifts – of life, of hope, of giving; gifts of family and church family and friends; gifts of health.

Kim Polhemus is the senior warden at St. John’s, New Milford, and an officer with an Anglican women’s empowerment group. She’s a dynamo. She’s also got a genetic condition that causes cysts to grow on her kidneys “to the point that of making them non-functioning,” she said. It’s called Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD.

Kim is one of three sisters; the others are Kathy and Michelle. Kathy, who lives in New Hartford, also has PKD. Michelle, who lives in San Francisco, is healthy and didn’t inherit the disease.

Doctors have determined that right now, Kim and Kathy’s kidneys are functioning at about 18% of capacity. Neither wants to go on dialysis and Kim says that getting on a donor list isn’t an option. “The wait time on a donor list is longer than the life expectancy on dialysis,” she said.
 
Both women need a transplant: they need two separate donors. The doctors want the sisters to keep their kidneys as long as possible, but not below 13 percent of capacity. The consensus is for that to happen in 2011.

Read full story here.

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