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When Alli Shappell learned that her childhood pastor was in kidney failure and in need of a transplant, she immediately offered to donate.
The 21-year-old nursing student was tested and, unfortunately, wasn't a match, but she was determined to help the minister get a kidney.
Doctors - University - Kansans - Health - System
That's when doctors at The University of Kansans Health System presented her with a highly unusual alternative: a chain donation program.
Participating in it would mean that Shappell would donate a kidney to a stranger, whose loved one would donate a kidney to another person in need and so on until the pastor received a kidney from someone who was a match.
Case - Donors - Shappell - Organ - Recipients
In this case, there were four donors, including Shappell, and four organ recipients, including the pastor.
Shappell told DailyMail.com that she decided to become a kidney donor when she was a junior in high school and was starring in a production of Steel Magnolias.
Play - Character - Shelby - Julia - Roberts
In the play, the character Shelby - portrayed by Julia Roberts in the film - receives a donated kidney, but later dies of complications from Type 1 diabetes.
'In high school, it had always been made out to think you could live on dialysis for the rest of your life,' Shappell said.
Research - People - Kidney
'So I did some research...it hit me how important it is [to donate] for people who need a kidney and how serious it really is.'
About six months ago, she received a call from her aunt that her childhood pastor was going into kidney failure.
Kidney - Transplant - Center - University - Kansas
She immediately reached out to Kidney Transplant Center at The University of Kansas Health System.
After several rounds of tests, Shappell was told she wasn't a match but that, if she wanted, she could be an altruistic donor.
Donor - Someone - Kidney - Recipient - Mind
An altruistic donor is someone who wishes to donate a kidney, but doesn't have an intended recipient in mind.
So the hospital created a...
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