The Gift of Life

The numbers are staggering – more than 111,000 people waiting for an organ transplant nationwide, 5,000 of them in Illinois. Every 10 minutes, a new person is added to the national waiting list and an average of 18 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.

Family members of those waiting for a transplant sometimes have an opportunity give the ultimate gift and donate a kidney, putting an end to dialysis and the agonizing wait for a donor. Statistically, patients achieve better outcomes if the kidney comes from a live donor, especially a family member. The kidney functions better, has fewer complications and lasts longer than deceased donor kidney transplants.

Memorial Medical Center is proud to make donation easier by offering laparoscopic nephrectomy (minimally invasive kidney removal) for living donors. The procedure requires only several small incisions. Through these incisions, surgeons use a small camera and specialized surgical instruments to remove the kidney. This means kidney donors experience a shorter recovery time and allows them to return to their daily routines sooner. Other benefits include smaller incisions, less scarring, less pain and fewer complications.

Since 1973, Memorial Transplant Services has completed more than 770 kidney and combined kidney/pancreas transplants. With the medical expertise and experience of Brad West, MD, and Marc Garfinkel, MD, there is no need for residents of central Illinois to travel to St. Louis or Chicago. To learn more about Memorial Transplant Services, call 217-788-3441 or visit