INDIANAPOLIS — Curtis Warfield received the ultimate blessing when his daughter’s sorority sister and roommate, Rosalyn Martin stepped up to donate him her kidney.
In 2012, Warfield went in for a routine checkup when doctors discovered that he was suffering from stage 3 chronic kidney disease.
The disease was very aggressive and by 2013 he had begun home dialysis treatment.
A couple months later, Warfield had made it on the transplant list with a wait time of up to four years.
“My daughter had decided that was too long for her,” Warfield said.
His daughter went to be tested to be a living donor but was deemed not a suitable match.
Her roommate and sorority sister, Rosalyn Martin had been watching the situation closely and decided to get tested to be a donor herself.
It turned out that Martin was a perfect match and on January 8, 2016, Martin donated one of her kidneys to Warfield.
"I consider it to be a blessing and an honor to have done this," Martin said. "I feel like things worked out well according to God's plan."
Warfield was pleasantly surprised because he wasn’t even aware that Martin was considering being a donor but is very grateful that she did.
“Outside of giving my life back and being active, it’s giving me the ability to be a voice for patients, especially the kidney community,” Warfield said. “I’ve been able to advocate locally and at the national level.”
Warfield has had the privilege of helping pass important legislation for donors and patients, such as the Immunosuppressant Act, which allows people who aren’t age wise able to qualify for Medicare to be able to get discounts, if not free, immunosuppressant drugs.
Warfield is currently working on state and national legislation to help living donors called Living Donors Protection Act, which will protect living donors from insurance companies raising rates because they’ve donated and to give them leave to heal from donation operations.
Warfield says that people should consider signing up to be a registered donor.
“There’s over 106,000 people waiting for transplants, the majority being kidney transplants,” Warfield said. “That’s 83% of transplants.”
Warfield says that four people are added to the organ transplant waitlist every hour.
“The more people we get to be donors, that list comes down tremendously,” Warfield said. “Be a hero to somebody if you can.”
"If it wasn't for Rosalyn, I might not have been here last year to walk my daughter down the aisle or see my son get married this year," Warfield said. "It's been a true blessing."
Donation and Transplant Statistics:
- On September 9th [unos.org], 2022, the U.S. performed its one millionth organ transplant since the first one took place in 1954 [unos.org]. See here [dropbox.com] for a press kit about it that includes a release, stats, charts, photos, etc.
- Half of all the transplants ever performed in the U.S. have taken place in just the past 15 years.
- More than 400,000 people are alive today with a functioning transplant.
- In 2021, for the first time, more than 40,000 transplants took place in one year, a total likely to be repeated if not surpassed in 2022.
- In each of the past 11 years, new annual records have been set in the number of deceased donors nationwide.
- Not everyone who registers as a donor is able to donate after they pass away. In fact, only 3 in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for deceased organ donation [organdonor.gov]. That’s why more willing donors are needed.
- WRTV viewers who are interested in registering to become an organ donor can visit Donate Life America [donatelife.net].