Hundreds Gathered to Celebrate the Gift of Life and Organ Transplantation

July 28, 2019 10:51 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- The rain didn't stop more than 400 donors, volunteers, and organ transplant recipients who celebrated the gift of life and organ donation at a picnic on Sunday.

One of the many recipients at the picnic was joined by her donor who also happened to be her father. Carly Kelly shared her thoughts about her two successful transplant operations, "Last summer I was healthy and then all of a sudden I needed a liver transplant," said Kelly. She said her first transplant took place when she was 8-years-old. 

"15 years ago I had a kidney transplant because of Autosomal Recessive Polycystic kidney disease," said Kelly.

Doctors say kidney transplants only require blood group compatibility which made Carly's dad the perfect match.

"I donated my kidney to Carly in 2004," said Tim Carly. The father-daughter due joined dozens of other donors and recipients at the picnic as they celebrated the gift of "life"- according to Dr. Charles Rosen, who heads Mayo Clinic's Transplant Center.

Dr. Rosen shared that the picnic started off recognizing only kidney transplants but has expanded to all the organ transplantations over the course of 35 years, "It started originally with kidney transplant recipients and then liver recipients in the 1980s. And it expanded to include all the organs. So we have transplant patients here that have received hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers, pancreas, and bone marrow transplants as well," said Dr. Rosen.

Dr. Rosen says one of the greatest aspects of the gathering is allowing many of the donors that attend- to see how they've helped in improving the quality of life for recipients. That same reason is why Tim Kelly says the atmosphere at the picnic was so inspiring.

"People can donate a liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, bone marrow, etc to extend another persons' life and the progress and the surgeons, and the wonderful people at Mayo, it's all inspiring," said Tim Kelly.


Jaclyn Harold

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