In the U.S. each year there are about 100,000 people waiting for a new kidney.
Twelve die every day, although Garrett can live on dialysis for many years.
While there are about 17,000 transplants, just 6,000 of those are from living donors.
Most of those are parent to child, sibling to sibling, or some other combination of blood relative. In Garrett’s case, minor health issues related to kidney function disqualified both Gary and Liz. And because his condition is genetic, his brothers are disqualified due to the risk of their own kidneys being affected at some point.
So there are about 500 living donors who are an unrelated pairing; a friend or stranger who have no blood relation to the recipient.
And that is what’s happening here. About 500 who get a match off a stranger or someone they know.
It really is extraordinary.