The 2017 Austin Kidney Walk is November 12th so there's no better time than to talk about giving someone the gift of life. It's a gift that one Austin woman gave to her husband to save his life.
Miriam and Barton Layne have shared countless memories through their marriage but their most recent experience changed their lives forever.
Barton has a polysytic kidney disease which runs in his family. It means clusters of cysts were developing in his kidneys.
Just like his father and brother, Barton knew that he would eventually need surgery so he tried to prevent it.
"I changed my diet and bought myself a little more trim energy wise and my levels stayed right where they were. So when they hit a point when I had to do it I chose to go under peretanile dialysis," Barton says.
But dialysis was not a permanent solution. Just an in between as he tried to find a donor.
Barton turned to his sister who was a match be she was eventually disqualified from being a donor.
That's when Barton's wife Miriam stepped in. Barton says Miriam "went out and snuck out and started getting tested."
Miriam says, "I had told them from day one when I did the orientation that if I was not a match that I would give my kidney to anyone."
When the results came back the news was better than expected. Not only was Miriam healthy enough to donate she was a match for her husband.
"I was concerned about the size of the kidney because he's much taller than I am but the doctor said that eventually my kidney will grow a little bit to accommodate to his size," Miriam says.
Miriam and Barton talk about the "amazing" and "beautiful" gift but not enough people are giving it.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 96,000 people are currently on the waiting list for a kidney.
Community Outreach Manager with the National Kidney Foundation Central Texas Lisa Watson says, "There are patients who had a transplant 30 years ago and they are thriving and that is so inspiring because the sad truth is a lot of people die on that waiting list, and if we had more donors that wouldn't happen."
Now a year and a half later, Barton is doing just fine. Miriam says she would go through it all again to save her husband's life and she hopes others sign up to be donors.
"Whether it's a husband, a daughter, a friend, it doesn't matter. It's just a gift that you're able to give," Miriam says.
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