N. TX woman donates kidney to co-worker

Making the decision to become an organ donor is deciding to give part of one's self to save another life.

FOX 4 recently met two African-American women who understand the importance of organ donation and the importance of raising awareness for other African-Americans.

Lakeisha Rosebud and Sharon Reed work together at a local bank, where Reed is Rosebud's supervisor.

Rosebud received a cadaver kidney in a 2008 transplant, but it had started to fail.

"And shortly after she was there, my original kidney went in to rejection," said Rosebud. "When I came back after being off a month for work, she immediately asked what could she do to help me."

The help was more than Rosebud dreamed. Reed gave Rosebud her kidney during a transplant at Baylor Hospital last week.

Reed says she felt it was something she had to do.

"My mother-in-law had a transplant many years ago," said Reed. "I think it's been over 15 years.  In addition, when I met Keisha and heard her story, I felt like me and her…our paths crossed for a reason."

The two women have gotten matching tattoos on their wrists as a forever reminder. The tattoos say "Blessed" and have a green ribbon to symbolize organ transplants.

Transplant surgeon Dr. Gregory McKenna says African-Americans need to consider becoming organ donors.

"In general, the people who are the best choices from a tissue matching point of view are gonna be people in your demographic and genic backgrounds," said McKenna.

Of the 101,000 people awaiting kidney transplants, 35,000 are African-Americans – 5,700 annually are living donors, and of that number, only 800 are African-Americans.

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