When I write about financial or business association regulation, I feel really lucky if someone is actually interested. But I’ve largely come to accept that the bulk of my colleagues, friends, and family members will not be interested, especially once they realize that the thesis cannot be summed up as “all bankers belong in the pokey” or “swaps are more dangerous than drinking battery acid.”
But I also found out very quickly that this is not the case when I write about organ donation. With organ donation, wonderful feedback often comes from unexpected sources, and people volunteer to help without even being asked. Research librarians like Jane Bahnson will track down sources and statistics on their own initiative, just because they’re interested. Balfour Smith did the web and poster design for Organs & Inducements on his own time -- and came up with the very clever green ribbon ampersand, symbolizing the “donate life” green ribbon – because his partner had had a liver transplant and he cared about the issue. And just last week, Duke academic assistant Kathy Julian emailed to say that she had seen my Kidney Transplantation Primer in Duke’s January “Sharing Scholarship” email, read it, sent me some thoughts, and forwarded the paper to her cousin, who also sent some thoughts.
Kathy’s interest in kidney transplantation stems from the experience of her cousin Rachel and Rachel’s son, Logan. Logan was born prematurely and with a rare genetic kidney disease. He was on dialysis and fighting infections until he could finally have a kidney transplant – thanks to his father, Chris, who was a match and was willing to donate one of his kidneys to his son. You can watch Logan’s story in the video below – what a brave little boy! With brave parents who love him very much.
I’m actually surprised that they were able to transplant Logan with his father’s kidney – I would have thought it too large for a toddler, so I suspect that alone is an interesting story. It’s a wonderful story with a happy ending, which Rachel gave me permission to share in order to remember the thousands of people each year who, unlike Logan, are not lucky enough to find a matching donor and die while awaiting a transplant.