Military Connection: Kidney Donor Needed


By Debbie Gregory.

If you’re 18 years or older, blood type compatible, with no major medical problems, no active or chronic infections, no active drug or alcohol abuse and acceptable height and body weight ratio, you may be able to save a life.

Army wife Tawanna Clapp spends 21 hours a week on dialysis. She suffers from focal glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease of the kidneys. Tawanna needs a new kidney.

In February 2014 Tawanna was admitted to the hospital for what doctors initially thought was pneumonia. After running tests it came to light that her kidneys were functioning at just five percent. With both kidneys failing, she was placed on emergency dialysis.

Tawanna’s husband, LaRon, would donate his kidney in a heartbeat, but he is not a match. Neither is her father, who is also diabetic.

LaRon said, “Sometimes I feel a little helpless you know because when you get married you’re saying it is my responsibility to cover you and protect you and this that and the third and then it’s like, well she’s got this condition and you can’t really do anything, well that sucks. It’s kind of a helpless feeling but it just made me a bit more thankful of what I could do and thoughtful to do those things.

“I’m comedic relief, and emotional support and all that stuff and a chauffer, so I do all of those things to the best of my ability,” he said smiling at Tawanna.

If a donor kidney can be found, the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix will do the procedure. Tawanna has A-positive blood,  which means her donor must have the blood type of either A (positive or negative) or O(positive or negative).   The screening process, which initially can be done over the phone, will help determine if someone is a candidate to be a potential donor. If you are interested in donating, contact the living kidney donor team at the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center at 480.342.1010 or [email protected]. For more information, read the article on the U. S. Army website.

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Military Connection: Kidney Donor Needed: By Debbie Gregory