Guest Opinions

As our new year dawns, consider the new lives that transplants give

Dixie Madsen
Dixie Madsen

I recently saw a list of the 10 most common New Year’s resolutions. The majority of the list were goals aimed at improving health in some way, or time management (such as spending more time with family and friends). These are great goals, but for someone struggling with various health concerns, they can seem almost unattainable.

I met Bruce a few months ago. Just weeks earlier, he had received a kidney transplant after spending over four years on dialysis. Although dialysis is time-consuming and draining, Bruce continued to take daily walks in an effort to maintain the best health possible. He also continued to work; not an easy task when at least 12 hours of every week is dedicated to dialysis treatments.

When Bruce was first diagnosed with kidney failure, the drive from his home to dialysis was at least 45 minutes each way. In an effort to free more time in his day to spend with his family, Bruce and his family moved to a town that has a dialysis center. His drive time was reduced to about five minutes each way, but the dialysis treatment still consumed four hours on three days a week.

In March, Bruce was finally added to the transplant waiting list. As he waited, he diligently tried to maintain his health as best he could. After several months of waiting and four years of dialysis, Bruce finally received “the call.” He will now be able to head into 2019 with more time, more energy and better overall health.

Bruce feels like he has hit the jackpot as he contemplates what 2019 will bring. He is very grateful to someone he will never have the opportunity to thank in person. That person said yes to donation, a decision that may have saved Bruce’s life. Without that person’s selfless decision, Bruce would not have his new kidney.

Currently in Idaho, there are more than 260 people on the transplant waiting list, and almost 200 of those individuals need a kidney. We are starting a new year with new goals. Losing weight, working out, and spending time with family and friends are great goals, but why not make one of your goals to save a life? You can get more information and register at

Dixie Madsen is the public education/public relations manager for Intermountain Donor Services, covering Utah and Idaho.