Nearly 100,000 people are currently waiting on transplants across the United States, and of those, at least 2,000 are military veterans.
One nonprofit is doing their part to help give these veterans a second chance at life.
The nonprofit, DOVE Transplant (Donor Outreach for Veterans), matches living donors with veterans to help speed up the process, as some recipients could be waiting for years.
So far, DOVE has screened 600 potential donors and has helped 25 veterans get transplants.
One of those veterans is John Anderson, an Air Force veteran from Ohio.
In 2018, he went to the emergency room due to a prostate issue. He ended up going septic and his kidneys started shutting down.
His kidneys were so severely damaged that he needed to start dialysis, and doctors suggested that he get put on the wait list for a kidney transplant.
The search for a donor proved to be long and overwhelming. Anderson feared they would never find a match in time for him.
That’s when his wife learned about DOVE Transplant while watching the news. They got in touch and DOVE was happy to help.
Thanks to DOVE, Anderson was able to find a perfect match and underwent a successful transplant.
DOVE was founded by Executive Director Sharyn Kreitzer in 2020 after she worked as a social worker for dialysis patients and at a VA transplant center.
There, she witnessed so many veterans who waited so long for a transplant that they ended up passing away before ever finding a match.
Kreitzer made it her mission to help these veterans find a match as quickly as possible to give them the best possible chance at a new life.
Learn more about DOVE and how they help veterans in the video below: