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Valentine’s Day: chocolates and organ donations

COLORADO – Valentine’s Day might be all about chocolate, dates, and good/fuzzy feelings, but it’s also about hearts (and kidneys) and other donatable organs.

February 14th is National Donor Day or, if you rather, National Organ Donor Day. The intent to bring awareness to the massive number of Americans in need of life saving organ donations.

Here in the Colorado/Wyoming area, organ donations are  relatively high! The Donor Alliance based out of Denver reported that in 2018:

  • 160 people donated organs
  • Saving the lives of 489 people

Additionally, more than 1-million residents across both states signed up to be donors, joining the “Organ, eye and tissue donor registries.”

In Colorado Springs, we caught up with a donor with a special and especially timely story.

“I donated 16 years ago today,” commented Warren Wells, “I didn’t know at the time that it was National Donor Day, it was just Valentine’s Day and it was a cool day to donate a kidney to my mom.”

Back then, nearly two decades ago, Warren’s mom’s kidneys had started to fail.

“So at the time I asked her about a transplant and she [told me] that she could never ask me or my brother for that. [So] I told her she wouldn’t have to ask.”

After the gauntlet of tests, the transplant was made, and now this mom/son team share a special Valentine’s, or rather, kidney-versary memory.

“I’ll call her later today and joke around with her and tell her that she better take good care of this kidney because she can’t have the other one,” joked Wells.

If you want to learn more about donation, there are plenty of resources online (I’ll list a few below):

Jon McMichael

Jon McMichael

Jon McMichael is the digital reporter for KOAA. He's been with the station since October 2017.
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