Thanks to the Internet, Pamela Deufrene has just given a complete stranger a new life. The casino supervisor from southeastern Connecticut donated her kidney to Renee Tricarico, who suffers from polycystic kidney disease. Having the disease means her kidneys are slowly shutting down.
Duefrene got the idea to donate after a relative received a bone marrow transplant from a stranger years earlier. She witnessed first hand the impact one gift could make and decided it was her duty to donate back to someone else.
Duefrene turned to the nonprofit web site MatchingDonors.com, which allows patients to actively search for a living organ donor. Duefrene received a lot of patient responses, but chose Renee because they had so many of the same values. Tricarico lives a healthy life and abstains from alcohol and smoking.
More than 105,000 people are currently waiting for a transplant because they suffer from polycystic kidney disease. Tricarico's brother is one of them.