bitten by a deer tick, slipped into a coma with a form of Lyme disease 
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 bitten by a deer tick, slipped into a coma with a form of Lyme disease

Live kidney donors glad to have the chance to give

(January 8, 2006) - Giving up a kidney seems like a big deal to me.
And it is. But as I talk to people who've actually done it, I get a
whole different take.

"I didn't want to lose my mom," says Audrey Peartree. It was simple as

Six years ago, her diabetic mother, Marie Patrone, was bitten by a deer
tick, slipped into a coma with a form of Lyme disease, and her kidneys
shut down. After her mother spent a few months in dialysis, Peartree, a
Rochester lawyer, offered a kidney.

"Something was telling me to do this. I had faith and it was fine," she

The National Kidney Foundation of Upstate New York will recognize live
kidney donors during a Saturday, Jan. 28, event, "Tree of Life: A
Celebration of Our Community's Living Kidney Donors."

More than 270 people are on the list for a kidney transplant at Strong
Memorial Hospital, and the average wait for a deceased donor's kidney
is now about five years. A live donor is a much better option when it's
possible. Doctors at Strong do about 30 live kidney transplants each
year, and typically the kidney is removed with a laparoscopic
procedure, using tiny incisions, which leads to a much shorter recovery
time as well.

The Kidney Foundation hopes that the real stories of live donors will
move others to come forward.

Jann Armantrout gave her brother Mark a kidney 22 years ago. When his
kidneys failed, he began dialysis, but his health continued to decline.

"I went to him and offered a kidney," she says. "He never asked."

Armantrout, who lives in Webster with her husband and two sons, is the
life issues coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.
She was living and working in Buffalo at the time and that's where the
transplant surgery was done.

"I was then not yet married and I had no children," she says, "and I
thought this must be something like giving birth. I was able to give
him his life back."

Mark died four years ago from leukemia. "But he had 17 years and they
were all good. In any other generation, my children would never have
known him," Armantrout says.

"It was the most personally fulfilling thing I've ever done," says
Kevin Hill of the kidney donation he made to his brother-in-law, Steve
Brown, four years ago.

Hill, of Pittsford, is the president and chief operating officer of
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. He and Brown are very close. And when
Brown began dialysis, a transplant seemed like the natural thing to do.

Vera Mascaro of Irondequoit gave her husband, Tony a kidney in 1998.
The two met at Percon Electric, a Rochester electrical contracting
company, where he was an electrician and she a secretary. They became
friends, and eventually husband and wife - 24 years ago.

Kidney disease runs in Tony's family; he knew his would fail, but "I
was just going to wait for a donor. I was going to be the tough guy and
hope for the best," he says.

When Vera offered a kidney, Tony said no. But she was persistent.

"We were very compatible," she says of their kidneys and their
relationship. "I think it was meant to be."

Living kidney donors, or those who know living donors, should contact
the National Kidney Foundation of Upstate New York by Jan. 20 so that
an invitation to the "Tree of Life" celebration can be sent. Please

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Sun, 29 Jun 2008 23:23:23 GMT
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