Kidney Donations Are Down Across The Nation - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Kidney Donations Are Down Across The Nation

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We've all come across the time when we renew our drivers license and the question comes up, would you like to be an organ donor?

Being a donor could save someone's life.

Jon Berg introduces you to a woman who says she's alive today, thanks to a donor.

<<Enola Cassel is a very active 76 year-old woman.

About 13 years ago she found out she had kidney failure.

"I was in Spokane at a girls gymnastics meet and I was on the floor with the girls helping coach," Enola Cassel said.

That's when she began to realize something just wasn't right.

"And I ended up feeling just terrible like you have blockage in the ear like you have when you come off the airplane, couldn't see and real dizzy," Cassel said.

After spending years getting iron and blood transfusions, Cassel began dialysis.

"The day you have dialysis you go home and you're just totally exhausted, you go to bed and don't do much you have no strength, , you just have no desire to do anything,' Cassel said.

Then one day she got a phone call that changed her life.

"And then I got my kidney on July 26, 2011," Cassel said.

It took Cassel about a year to get her kidney, but Dr Nadim (NA-DEEM) Koleilat (CO-LAY-LA) says the number of kidney donations is down across the country.

"The wait list in our region is like two years, but the waiting is getting longer," Dr. Nadim Koleilat said.

In the past doctors relied on kidneys from people who recently died.

Now they're relying on the living, willing to share a healthy organ.

"If you're willing to donate to your relatives, friends to come forward, because the cadaver numbers are down, so we need to rely on living people to donate," Koleilat said.

Although Cassel has never met her donor --- she says without her new kidney, she wouldn't be here today.

"I'm stronger, and I go down and help at the farm I have two cows and I ride horseback once in awhile, I have my own horse, you can't understand what a blessing that someone gives up their kidney," Cassel said.

You don't have to know anyone who needs a transplant to donate.

If you'd like to donate just contact the Transplant Center at Sanford Health in Bismarck.

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