Myron Thirtle

Living Donor
Age 31 - Iowa City, IA
Date of Donation: 08/31/2000
University of Iowa Hospital; Iowa City, IA
I was born on November 26th, 1968 to Doris and Eric Thirtle.  Growing up, I did not have much of a relationship with my father.  Mom was the backbone of the family.  In 1992, my father was diagnosed with a kidney disease called IGA Neuropathy which progressed to the point where he needed to start dialysis 3 times a week, in November 1997.  After being on dialysis for 3 years, he was told he either needed to go on the waiting list or find a family member who was a match. 

While sitting at home in St. Louis, MO, I received a phone call from dad asking if I would consider donating a kidney to him.  Without hesitation, I told him sure.  My answer was a no brainer.  He was my dad and we had to put our differences aside.  He gave me life by bringing me into the world, so I had to give life to him in return.  Within weeks, I learned I was a perfect match.  After doing all the tests required for the transplant at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, I drove to my parent’s house in Kalona, IA to prepare the transplant and meet with the Dr’s at the University of Iowa Hospital.  

On August 31, 2000 the transplant took place.  After being in the hospital for one week, we both left the hospital and returned to my parent’s home to recuperate.  After 3 weeks, I then returned back home to St. Louis.  After the transplant, the relationship between my father and I blossomed into a relationship I had waited for my whole life.  In January 2010, I moved back to Kalona because my parents were getting up there in age and I wanted to live close to them again.  

On August 2nd, 2010 the special bond between me and my dad came to an end.  My father passed away after a very brief battle with cancer.  I guess you can say it was a blessing in disguise - moving back just before he got sick and being able to spend quality time with him.  After his passing, I took his death very hard, so I turned to the internet and found support groups on Facebook.  After getting some guidance from some friends I made, I started a Facebook page called Organ Transplant Network. It is a tool I am using to recruit living donors like myself, as well as support for those needing a transplant.  I go to schools in my area, talking to students, educating them about organ donation.  Many teens are killed every year.  If something were to happen to them, their parents could honor their wishes and donate the organs and tissues.  Getting the word out about organ donation is the main priority in my life right now.  I am getting ready to start a non-profit organization to honor my father. Money raised will be used to travel the country promoting organ donation and help pay for transplants for those without insurance.
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