Health Watch: Voucher for Delly's Kidney Transplant

Every month about 3,000 new people are placed on the kidney transplant list. However, 13 people die each day waiting for their transplant. Now, a new national program is helping people get their transplant faster with the help of a complete stranger.

Three-year-olds Adele and Aubrey may be twins, but they couldn't be more different from each other.

A big difference between the two. Aubrey has two kidneys, while Adele, also known as Delly, has one. When Delly was born she was diagnosed with multicystic kidney disease.

Delly's grandmother Jamie McNeil said, "She immediately went into renal failure."

Delly is doing well now with her kidney function at 78 percent, but...

"At this point, it's looking like she will need a kidney transplant within the next ten years or so," explained Delly's mother Meghann Adams.

But when she does need her transplant, she will be transferred to the living kidney donor list. All thanks to her grandmother donating her kidney to a complete stranger. Through the National Kidney Registry's donor voucher program, a donor can donate a kidney now and get a voucher for an intended recipient for a later living donor transplant.

Nicole Turgeon, MD from Emory University School of Medicine said, "Those timeframes are significantly shorter than you would have to wait for a deceased donor kidney. Deceased donor kidneys, you can wait anywhere from a couple of years all the way up to eight to ten years."

Just one living donor taking part in this voucher program can help over a hundred people on the transplant list.

"if I can inspire just three people to donate a kidney and those three people can inspire three more people and those three people can inspire three more people; if we did that just eleven times over, we could wipe out the whole kidney list," said McNeil.

McNeil's kidney donation started off a chain that impacted eight people with four kidney transplants. But now she also has that safety net for her granddaughter, for whenever she will need her kidney.

McNeil was the first to take part in the kidney voucher program at Emory University. The longest chain to take place there involved 62 transplants. For more information about the kidney voucher program visit

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Field Producer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.
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