MADISON (WKOW) -- Throughout the summer, The Red Cross and WKOW have been honoring several outstanding individuals in our community. Each one has made a huge impact in the life or lives of another. That's certainly true of Mary Scott, this year's Red Cross Community Hero. She donated a kidney to someone she's never even met. Elishah Oesch introduces us to Mary Scott, our Jefferson Award Winner for August.
Mary Scott says, "I wanted to give back to the community so back in 2002, I signed up as a volunteer and I've been with them ever since." Mary has been giving back to the community all her life. She's been a volunteer with the Red Cross for a decade. However, her greatest act of giving back happened in 2011, when she decided to donate one of her kidneys to someone she'd never even met.
Mary says,"I thought to myself, I certainly can do this. I'm in perfect health, so there's no reason that I can't do this."
Why would anyone decide to give such a precious and priceless gift to a total stranger? First, because she could, and second because Mary's mother had a condition.
Mary says,"she was on dialysis and I used to sit with her through her treatments." So, Mary decided to help someone else so they could live a fuller healthier life. After making the decision she contacted the hospital, and they took it from there.
Mary says,"the National Kidney Registry sets up pared exchanges." Mary's exchange or match, was found quickly. It turned out to be Frank from Philadelphia. On June 7th 2011 Mary underwent surgery to remove her kidney and have it sent to him.
Mary says, "I know my kidney had to be on an airplane out of Chicago at 8am, to be in Philly where the recipient was." Frank received the kidney that day and his surgery was a success. He's now living with Mary's kidney and Mary is living with the knowledge that she gave all she could.
She says,"I think it was the greatest gift I could give to somebody."
If you're interested in learning more about Kidney Donation, you can go to www.kidneyregistry.org.