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Grandmother Pays It Forward for Granddaughter


Grandmother Pays It Forward

An Atlanta grandmother is part of a chain of caring. She has donated her kidney to a stranger in return for a voucher that would potentially give her granddaughter an organ years down the line.

When Delly Aubrey was born in 2015, one of her kidneys was not working, and doctors weren’t sure if the other kidney would pick up the slack. Grandmother Jamie McNeil knew she would be too old to donate to her granddaughter by the time a transplant would be necessary, so she signed up for the National Kidney Registry’s Voucher Program—a kind of “gift certificate” for an organ.

The program creates a chain of organ donations throughout the country. McNeil donated a kidney, which was sent to a recipient at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York; a donor there sent a kidney to a recipient at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; and a donor there sent one to a recipient at the Nicoletti Kidney Transplant Center at Jefferson Health in Pennsylvania. The chain ended with a final donor from Jefferson sending a kidney to a recipient at New York Presbyterian.