- Posted April 23, 2014 by
ROYAL OAK, Michigan
A Generous, Life-Saving Gift: Woman Donates Kidney to Close Friend
By: Mark Geary, Beaumont Health System
Nancy Noble wrestled with kidney disease for two decades.
“Beaumont has been really great. I have been seeing my nephrologist, Dr. Dumler, for 17 years,” Noble said.
Medication helped keep her healthy, until her doctor told her she needed a kidney transplant.
“My jaw hit the ground,” Noble said.
Noble’s kidneys were failing. Days later, she went to a Beaumont Health System meeting about transplantation.
“They talked about all the side effects of the medicine and risks of rejection. They said that it’s better to get a transplant than to be on dialysis,” Noble said.
Family members were unable to donate. However, Noble’s brother’s girlfriend, Michelle Rogers, was a match.
“I just felt that I had to do it for her to help her.” Rogers said, “I just started thinking about it and I thought, ‘Yeah, this is the right thing to do. How could you not step forward if someone’s life is on the line?”
Beaumont Health System requires all donors to undergo extensive testing.
“They’re usually surprised at how extensive it is. We end up turning down close to 60-65 percent of people who step forward as donors,” Dr. Dilip Samarapungavan, Medical Director, Multi-Organ Transplantation at Beaumont Health System, said.
Rogers passed all the tests.
“People doing something special purely out of the goodness of their hearts, purely because they know it’s the right thing to do, on a human level, is so incredible,” Samarapungavan added. “The data is actually very clear. If you’re healthy and all of your testing is normal at the time of donation, people who donate kidneys do excellent. It doesn’t have any long-term impact on their health, in general.”
Rogers and Noble were both in good spirits after the surgery.
“The doctors have all been coming and checking in and the nurses are very attentive,” Noble said.
Rogers added, “I feel great. The first day, I started walking…It hasn’t been as painful as some people have said…I feel like it was the right thing to do and anyone who can should step forward and do the same.”
Noble said she is grateful Rogers was willing to help and feels lucky to have Rogers in her life. “She’s the best. She really is…You can’t put into words when someone gives you a kidney from their body.”
Since the first kidney transplant in 1972, specialists in the Beaumont transplantation program have performed more than 1,500 adult kidney transplants.
Learn more about Beaumont’s transplantation program and find out how you can become a donor.