TO THE EDITOR: Surprise reader makes appeal for husband’s kidney donation

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Dear Surprise Today editor:

This is the most difficult letter I have ever had to write.

As you may know, Charlie Ortmann has been suffering from renal disease for the past 20 years and now he is in end-stage renal disease and requires dialysis to live.

My remarkable husband is a sensational father, grandfather and friend, as well as my hiking partner and the most wonderful man who can fix or mend anything around the house.

He is full of life and he has a lot more living to do.

Currently, he is strong enough and has been placed on the kidney transplant list.

But the dialysis wears his body down, especially his heart. He will not be able to hold out for five years waiting for a transplant; time is not on his side.

The answer is a living kidney donation. He really wants to live. And I am really hoping that you can help.

Living donation is a voluntary gift of one kidney (we only need one). It is a safe, proven laparoscopic procedure, which can be done immediately.

Donors are tested thoroughly to ensure safe and healthy outcomes. Medical expenses, travel, lodging and work time lost by the donor may be covered.

The transplant will take place at the Mayo Clinic Arizona, one of the highest-rated hospitals for living donations.

Charlie’s blood type is O. He can only receive from an O donor. We have blood type testing kits available.

Donors must be free of kidney disease, heart attack, diabetes, cancer, kidney stones, high blood pressure and obesity. Healthy people of all ages can donate.

I know Kidney donation is not right for everyone. Many cannot donate or choose not to.

But I ask you to spread the word. Share this message with as many people as you know. Learning about living donation can save Charlie’s life and the lives of others with kidney diseases.

With love, respect and friendship.

Mary Ortmann, Surprise

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