Women team up for kidney transplant program

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque-area woman who’s been battling kidney disease for years was floored when a co-worker offered to be a donor. It turned out the women weren’t a match, but they’re taking an unusual path to secure a kidney transplant.

Kim Strain has an inherited disorder that clauses clusters of cysts to develop in her kidneys. She’s been undergoing dialysis for several years.

When her co-worker Crystal Johnson found out, she offered to be a donor.

“I’ve had a couple of other people mention they wanted to do so, but they didn’t really follow through,” Strain said.

“My thought is just, if I have two kidneys that are perfectly healthy and I only need one, why would I not give one to save somebody else’s life?” Johnson said.

The women underwent testing last November and discovered they weren’t a match.

Now they’re planning on using a paired kidney transplant program, where Johnson will donate a kidney in Strain’s name. Strain will receive a kidney from another donor in the same situation.

Strain has already been accepted into the program.

Johnson, a full-time cosmetology student who also tends bar, will travel to Phoenix at the end of the month for testing. She set up a fundraising page to pay for her expenses.

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