The gift of life: Working for a kidney |

The gift of life: Working for a kidney

Garrett Short
Updated: April 29, 2021 10:16 PM
Created: April 29, 2021 10:00 PM

(ABC 6 News) - After over a year of dialysis and months spent along the busiest streets in Rochester seeking a kidney donor, Rochester's Jim Blum is receiving a kidney transplant next week.

After a battle with cancer, Blum's kidneys stopped working and he was forced to start dialysis. But that meant he had to spend four hours at Mayo Clinic three times a week. He wasn't allowed to travel and take time away unless he was able to plan dialysis where he was going. His life was dictated by a machine.

In order to try and expedite the process of looking for a kidney, Blum stood along streets and exits in Rochester with a sign saying he was looking for a kidney donor. Through the snow and cold he kept at it, and it paid off. A woman was approved to be his donor.

"Before I called her up I just had to sit down and say, 'gosh, this is happening. I can finally get away from dialysis,'" Blum said.

Blum was shocked and grateful, but curious as to what motivates a complete stranger to donate an organ.

"She said, 'Well when I was younger I couldn't have children and I was blessed with being able to adopt a child.' And she goes 'I just want to pay it forward,'" Blum said.

Blum is excited for dialysis to no longer dictate his life. He says it feels better than winning the lottery, and is excited to be able to travel with his life and regain his freedom.

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