Denver Woman Works to Help Create Bionic Kidney

Marlow Hoffman is trying to raise $3 million so others won’t have to wait like her mom for a kidney transplant

"Eleven and a half hours a day. Barbara Hoffman is on dialysis 11½ hours a day. It’s only a temporary solution, though, typically working no more than four or five years. And the Colorado woman is on year three of using a machine to remove toxins from her body.

"Hoffman has end-stage kidney disease and needs a transplant. As of the start of 2016, more than 100,700 people in the U.S. were waiting for a kidney transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Only 20,000 kidneys are donated a year. Thirteen people die each day while waiting.

“'The math,' Barbara’s daughter Marlow Hoffman said, 'it’s not good.'

"Marlow Hoffman wanted to do something so she’s started a campaign to find her mother a kidney.

"But she also went a step further. She has been fundraising to support The Kidney Project, a group out of the University of California San Francisco that is working to develop a bionic kidney.

"The project, which is set to start human testing this year, costs about $3 million a year. So that’s her goal.

“'It’s not because it’s going to be something for my mom,' she said. 'They’re moving quickly but I don’t think they’re moving quickly enough for her.'

"By providing a year’s worth of funding, Marlow Hoffman said she can help make sure families in the future don’t share their experience. The initial end date for the fundraising campaign was extended to May 13 — Mother’s Day. So far, they’ve raised $36,097.

“'If you’re in trouble, you need an advocate,' Barbara Hoffman said. 'Somebody to speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself or when you don’t know what to say or what has to get done. She’s been all of that for me.'"

Visit The Denver Post for more. 
Video by Katie Wood. Article by Anika Worthington. May 11, 2018

Anonymous Kidney Donations Create Huge, Rare Donation Chain That Connects Them All in Remarkable Way

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"A group of friends, family members and a Good Samaritan were part of a giant, 12-person kidney donation chain at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that brings them together Wednesday to meet in Chicago for the first time.

"The rare donation chain was a result of six people donating kidneys to six recipients. The donors did not know who their kidneys were going to, but the transplants miraculously wove a web connecting all 12 people, according to Northwestern Medicine.

"The result? 'Kidney transplant surgeries in a rare organ-transplant chain from living donors that resulted in healthy kidneys going to six sick people,' the hospital said in a statement.

"It all started with Brendan Flaherty, 21, who was diagnosed in 1998 with the kidney-affecting Denys-Drash Syndrome. Flaherty received a transplant from Kimberly Cooper, 44, who was a non-directed donor and the Good Samaritan in the chain."

Read the full article in NBC Chicago.
By Jonathon Sadowski, February 28, 2018

In an effort to save her mom's life, a Colorado woman is raising $3 million for a bionic kidney

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"On January 20, thousands of people in Denver marched for women’s health, rights and equality. Some marched for immigration and DACA, while others for inclusiveness and diversity. Whatever the reason, women and men came to march for what they believed in and for the change they wanted to affect. For another woman in the crowd that day, she marched for an entirely different reason: her mom’s kidney. 


The Problem

"Marlow Hoffman walked around the Civic Center holding a sign that read 'Share Your Spare. My mom needs a kidney.' Hoffman’s mom, Barbara Hoffman, has struggled with kidney issues for the past 38 years. 'I was hospitalized during my pregnancy with Marlow and had to have a cesarian section and early delivery—not because she was in trouble, but because my kidneys were compromised,' recalled Barbara. In 2009, Barbara was diagnosed with septicemia — a bloodstream infection caused by a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body that then enters the blood. In 2013, her name was added to the national transplant list and by 2015, she began peritoneal dialysis.'

"Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is intended to replace as many functions of the failing kidney as possible but ultimately can’t treat or cure the kidney disease. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis and roughly 115,012 people are on the transplant list. Life expectancy on dialysis varies, but the average is five to 10 years. 'Dialysis is something that I’m grateful for in the sense that it is keeping my mom alive right now,' said Marlow. 'Without it, she would be dead. So in that respect, it’s a really great thing but it’s a band-aid at best. It’s a short-term, high cost, temporary solution.'"

Read the full article in 303 Magazine.
By Katie Boudreau, February 13, 2018

Denver Woman Works to Help Create Bionic Kidney

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Marlow Hoffman is trying to raise $3 million so others won’t have to wait like her mom for a kidney transplant

"Marlow Hoffman started with a simple mission to help her mother Barbara find a living kidney donor.

"But the Denver woman quickly realized the magnitude of the problem and the need to create a bionic kidney to eliminate the need for organ donations.

"Barbara Hoffman, who has been waiting for a kidney for about 18 months, is one of more than 120,000 people in the United States waiting for an organ transplant and one of the more than 100,000 who need a kidney. The National Kidney Foundation says only 20,000 kidneys are donated each year while 3,000 people are added to the waiting list each month. That means an average wait of nearly four years while 13 people die daily needing a kidney transplant."

Read the complete write up about Barbara & the Bionic Kidney Campaign in The Denver Post.
By Amanda Trejos, February 13, 2018

Selena Gomez Faced Years Waiting for a New Kidney. Why Is the List so Long?

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"When singer Selena Gomez found out she needed a kidney transplant she discovered the daunting reality: it can take many years before an organ from a deceased donor becomes available. She also learned the process can be dramatically sped up if a living donor can be found. For Gomez, that was her best friend, Francia Raísa.

"Gomez and Raísa talked about the secret kidney operation they underwent earlier this year in an exclusive interview with NBC News. Their hope is to help others going through similar health problems."

Read more and watch the NBC News Exclusive with Gomez along side her best friend and living kidney donor, Francia Raísa.
By Linda Carroll, October 30, 2017

Kidney donation doesn’t stop Bend triathlete from competing

"BEND, Ore. (AP) — Greg Sabin isn’t afraid to admit it. He’s not exactly the most patient person. So when his doctor told him it’d be at least six weeks after he donated a kidney before he could crank up his workout routine to its usual intensity, he wasn’t thrilled.

"'I want to be good as gold straight out of the gate,” said the 56-year-old Bend resident. “I never really had surgery before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.'

"Sabin didn’t swim for a while. He kept his runs short and not too fast. Then, exactly five months after the surgery, he completed a triathlon in Sunriver: a 1.2-mile swim, 58-mile bike ride and 13-mile run.

“'It was like a holiday for me,' he said of finally getting back into intense exercise."

Read the full article in The Seattle Times.
By Tara Bannow, The Associated Press, November 24, 2017

Why I gave my kidney to a stranger — and why you should consider doing it too

"I’d wanted to give a kidney for years — at least since I first heard it was possible after reading Larissa MacFarquhar’s New Yorker piece on “good Samaritan” kidney donors when I was in college. It just seemed like such a simple and clear way to help someone else, through a procedure that’s very low-risk to me. I studied moral philosophy as an undergrad, and there’s a famous thought experiment about a man who walks by a shallow pond where a child is drowning and does nothing, because leaping in to save the child might muddy his clothes.

"If I kept walking around with two kidneys, when there were more than 100,000 people on the kidney waitlist who would most likely die in the next five years if they didn’t get one, was I doing anything different from that man, really? Wasn’t I, like him, letting another person die to avoid a small cost to myself?" 

Read the full article about why Dylan Matthews decided to donate a kidney in Vox News.
By Dylan Matthews, April 11, 2017

Colorado kidney donation to stranger sets off life-saving chain reaction

"Erin Rollman and Adam Leventhal both live in Colorado, but they don’t live in the same worlds. He’s an orthodox Hasidic Jew. She’s an atheist vegan. He teaches religion. She’s an actor.

But in at least one essential way, they could not be more alike. They are two of only four living Coloradans who have donated one of their kidneys to a stranger this year.

So they have saving lives in common. They just wish that weren’t so uncommon."

Read the full article in The Denver Post.
By John Moore and Special to the Denver Post, September 7, 2013