Kent Co. Woman Getting New Kidney Through Swapping Process - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Kent Co. Woman Getting New Kidney Through Swapping Process

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Nadine Holleger (Photo: WBOC) Nadine Holleger (Photo: WBOC)

MILFORD, Del. (WBOC)- For people who need an organ transplant, time on the waiting list is often measured in years. But a Kent County woman is getting off the list much quicker, thanks to a unique process.

Nadine Holleger has polycystic kidney disease. It is a genetic, life-threatening disorder. Wednesday, Holleger is getting a new kidney, thanks in part to someone she knows and some people she doesn't.

Holleger loves to scrapbook. She said it is a way to preserve memories over the years. And looking back, the whole time Holleger had a ticking time bomb inside her kidneys - a gene from her father.

"Me and two of my sisters inherited the gene and are already in kidney failure," she said.

Holleger's blood type makes it difficult to find a donor.

"My sister was told she would wait two to three years. I could wait as many as 15 without a donor."

She has been on the University of Maryland's donor list for six months. Multiple people tried to be a donor for her, but nobody matched. Yet, Wednesday she will get a new kidney through a process, first used in 2001, called a paired exchange.

A paired exchange takes a donor and a recipient who do not match and puts them together with a group of other donors and recipients who don't match. Through a complicated swapping process, it brings donors and recipients who do match together.

In Holleger's case, that is where Leia Dypsky comes in. She and Holleger were acquaintances when Dypsky responded to a Facebook post from Holleger.

"I knew she'd been sick," Dypsky said. "I didn't know it had gotten that far. She put up 'Is anyone an O. Anybody want to consider.' I said, 'I am.'"

Dypsky did not end up being able to donate to Holleger. But she did match with someone else, which allowed the paired exchange to happen.

"I looked at my husband," she said. "We both looked at each other and said, 'We're in it this far. Let's go for it.'

"So, it is incredible," said Holleger. "What she's doing is absolutely incredible."

They will both soon be in surgery, as will other people on the other side of the country. Holleger said her new kidney should actually start working on the operating table if everything goes according to plan.

"I'm nervous, and I'm scared. But I'm grateful," said Holleger.

"She gets to continue seeing her son grow. She gets to continue seeing her life," said Dypsky. "That I was able to give somebody else life is quite amazing."

"There's no way to thank someone for this kind of gift," Holleger said. "I want my life back. And that's what they're giving me. There's no way to describe that.

And with a successful transplant, she will be able to keep making scrapbooks and keep making memories for many years to come.

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