A New Jersey woman’s kidney donation set off a chain of donations across the country. It all started because Gianna Graw, a 24 year old graduate student at Montclair State, wanted to honor her late father. He had been a Jersey City police officer and when Gianna heard of an officer in need of a kidney transplant, she decided to donate.

After undergoing all the tests to make sure she was healthy enough to donate, she found that the officer already had a matching donor. Gianna decided to donate anyway as a “non-specific” donor in Hackensack University Medical Center’s good Samaritan program. On Dec. 9, she underwent the operation to remove one of her kidneys. The National Kidney Registry found a match in Los Angeles.

As reported on NorthJersey.com, once Gianna’s kidney was matched in L.A., a kidney that was donated but incompatible to the Los Angeles recipient was flown to Tampa, and a non-matched kidney in Tampa was used in another LA transplant, while a final kidney from L.A. was given to a recipient in San Francisco.

She described the feeling to the Daily Voice. “It was an incredible moment,” said Gianna. “I knew I wanted to do it, and I also knew that someone was counting on me to save their life — as well as three other people in the chain who were also counting on me.”

Gianna has recovered and hopes her story will inspire others to become organ donors, but telling the Daily Voice, “it’s really my dad who deserves all the credit because he inspired me with his kindness and compassion.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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