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Editorial encourages readers to help ‘friends in need’

Laurie Williams, in her office at Pup ‘N Iron.

Today’s editorial in The Free Lance-Star encourages us all to reach out when people are in need. In this case, the reference is to local dog trainer Laurie Williams’ need for a kidney. We featured her struggle with end stage renal disease in a story on Sunday.

The need goes beyond Laurie, however. Nearly 99,000 people like her are on the national transplant list waiting for a kidney.

Sunday’s story included a list of ways you can help. I’m repeating them here.


Anyone interested in donating a kidney should be in good health and not diagnosed with diabetes or undergoing treatment for cancer, said Lisa Matthias, director of The Transplant Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.

The transplant centers at both Inova Fairfax Hospital and Henrico Doctors’ Hospital offer paired exchange transplants.

For more information about becoming a kidney donor:

  • Call The Virginia Transplant Center at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, 877/626-4581.
  • Call The Inova Transplant Center at Inova Fairfax Hospital, 800/358-8831.
  • Explore information at The National Kidney Registry.


Though one person could save nine lives by donating his organs, as many as 6,000 people die each year waiting for a needed organ, according to Donate Life Virginia.

Each donor can potentially provide a heart, two parts of

a liver, two kidneys, two lungs, an intestine and a pancreas.

In addition, 50 lives can be enhanced by one person who

is a tissue donor.

Though Virginia has the ninth largest donor registry in the nation—with more than 3.6 million people signed up as of this fall—more than 40 percent of state residents over age 18 aren’t registered, according to data from Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Sunni Blevins Brown.

Registration is easy.

People can register through DMV when they get or renew a driver’s license or state identification card.

They also can go online to and register there or download a form to mail.

People as young as 13 can register, but a parent would have the final say for teens ages 18 and younger.

—Pamela Gould


Laurie Williams started a Facebook page—“Searching for Laurie’s Kidney”—to chronicle her journey with end-stage renal disease and her wait for a donated kidney.



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