Getting an organ donor is not an easy task, a fact Jim Gorbunow knows all too well. The 43-year-old from Minnesota has needed a new kidney for a while and has had trouble getting one. So he and his family had a brilliant idea: Why not use the snow and cold to draw attention to his need?
Gorbunow and his brother build a 5-foot tall kidney "snowman" in his front yard. He even named it "Kevin." Next to the snow sculpture, there is a sign saying: "KIDNEY WANTED."
It's kind of heartbreaking, really, that this man has to go to such lengths to get an organ. But it's not surprising. Organs are in short supply and in this case, his creativity may very well have worked. A neighbor has already offered to be a donor, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Unreal, right? Gorbunow has had diabetes since he was 7 and this is not his first time doing an organ transplant. In fact, he has done three prior organ transplants. The neighbor may or may not be a match, but he is not the only interested party. The kidney sculpture gained national attention and people from all over the country are calling to offer potential donation. Though, he's on a national registry of people in need of a kidney, you don't move up on that list until it has become so bad as to need dialysis.
It's a pretty scary situation.
The last time he needed a kidney, he apparently became very sick before he got one and this time around, he is trying to be proactive. The shelf life for transplanted kidneys is only about 12 to 15 years, which means time is of the essence and people don't regularly donate their kidneys for fun.
Kidneys are one of the few organs that can be taken from a living donor. In fact, this spring, a relative of mine is giving her kidney to another relative of mine. It is an incredibly generous and beautiful gift I can scarcely even imagine.
People don't do elective surgery like this unless they truly love someone. Or unless they are moved in some way. Good for Gorbunow for coming up with a way to show people how hard it is to get organs. It's quite inspiring. And it might just save his life.
Would you ever donate a kidney?
Image via NBC News