County commissioner's one kidney donation saved 28 lives - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

County commissioner's one kidney donation saved 28 lives

On April 30th, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy made what is called an "altruistic kidney donation". On April 30th, Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy made what is called an "altruistic kidney donation".

(WMC-TV) - A Shelby County leader's selfless good deed ended up spawning a nationwide chain of similar acts of kindness.

It is called Chain 221 and it ended up being the second longest organ donation chain in the world. Its links have now saved 28 people and it began with Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

On April 30, Mulroy made what is called an "altruistic kidney donation". He gave up one of his kidneys to a complete stranger, not because he had to, but because he wanted to do it.

"It's so easy and you can save lives," he said. "I think we all have a duty to do it."

From April to June, Mulroy's donation spawned a nationwide chain of donors, stretching from California to Cleveland and even Massachusetts. The donor chain is made up of non-directed donors, people who have explicit wishes to donate to someone not necessarily related to them, but in need of a transplant.

The commissioner's kidney went to the National Kidney Registry, which has a specialized computer program matching donors and recipients nationwide.

"To know that 28 people have gotten kidneys they needed because of the chain I started that's the second largest in the world, it's wonderful," Mulroy said.

Now, nearly six weeks after his kidney was removed, Mulroy is almost back to normal. He never missed teaching his law classes at the University of Memphis and he never missed a county commission meeting.

He is now using his experience to preach one simple message: the importance of organ donation.

"Everyone should be getting out their licenses and turning them on the back and signing the organ donation thing," he added. "When we're gone, there's no reason not to give our organs to people who need them."

To find out more about organ donation or to sign up to donate your organs, click here: http://www.donatelifetn.org/index.aspx

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV . All rights reserved.
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