Overland Park Resident Urges Community To Donate Kidneys And More News

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas. Last summer, Joey and Audrey Sugrow enjoyed their wedding day surrounded by friends and family in downtown Kansas City.

The couple met shortly before quarantine in 2020. Joey Sagro said that COVID-19 has strengthened their relationship, but the recent deterioration in his health has strengthened their bond.

“Sometimes I feel selfish just because so much of what we do is related to my health,” he said.

Joey Sugrow Alport syndromea rare disease that damages his kidneys. He asked all his friends and relatives to give living donation. They didn’t find a match.

“I wish I could be his equal so I could do it myself and make things better,” said Audrey Sugrow.

Dr. Lee Cummings is the Surgical Director of Kidney Transplants at St. Luke’s Health System.

Almost every transplant [organization] tends to be somewhat conservative,” Cummings said. “We want to make sure that if we take a kidney from someone, they don’t need a kidney themselves in the future.”

Cummings said the best way to find a donor is to openly tell your community about your struggles.

“If you need a kidney, you have to get it there, talk about it,” he said. “You need this donor advocate, whoever he is, to come out and talk to your family and friends.”

The Sugrow family is positive as they wait for the kidney.

“We can do so much. Do the best we can, but don’t get too hung up on things we can’t control,” Joey said. “I don’t think it really matters when a transplant happens in my life. I’m going to keep going day by day, be with my beautiful wife and enjoy the little things as much as possible.”

The couple have plans to visit the east coast and want to start planning a trip to Asia in 2023. They put off expanding their family until Joey gets a new kidney.

“I know the odds are against me, really. But we keep spreading the word and eventually it will happen,” he said. “Hopefully, if this doesn’t happen to me, I really wish it would benefit anyone who needs a vital organ like the kidney.”

Currently, about 93,000 people are waiting for a kidney donation.

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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