Right now in the United States, there are over 101,000 people waiting for kidney donations, but only 17,000 of those people will receive them this year.
Every day, 12 people die waiting for new kidneys — this might sound horribly depressing, but I’m telling you this because there’s something you can do about it!
Almost anyone can donate organs — either alive or after you pass away — and doing so could save someone’s life.
Organ donation is one of the best ways to help another person. But don’t take it from me — take it from someone who actually donated an organ!
Lindsey Bittorf, a police officer in Janesville, Wisconsin, became a kidney donor earlier this year when she saw a story on Facebook that touched her heart.
An 8-year-old boy, Jackson, needed a kidney — his mom, Kristi Goll, posted on Facebook about it, and when Lindsey saw the Facebook post, she knew she could help.
[H/T Love What Matters]
Jess Gutzman, of Gutzman Photography, photographed the moment Lindsey told Jackson and Kristi she wanted to donate her kidney, then shared the photos on the Facebook page Love What Matters.
People everywhere loved the story, and within days the post had over 4,000 reactions and 300 shares.
When Kristi Goll learned her 8-year-old son, Jackson, needed a kidney transplant, she shared it with her Facebook friends and asked them to consider donating.
That’s when Lindsey Bittorf saw the post.
“It said Jackson needed an O+ blood donor who is healthy. I thought, ‘That’s me! I can do this. If this were my child, I would hope every other mother would step in and help,'” Lindsey, a police officer and mother, said.
In this photo series, Lindsey breaks the news to Jackson’s mom, Kristi Goll, that she will donate her kidney for Jackson.
Lindsey had never met Jackson or his family but felt compelled to help.
“I wanted to be Jackson’s donor,” says Lindsey. “It was an awesome day when Beth confirmed we were a good match.”
When Lindsey and her husband Ryan, who is also a police officer, waited on Jackson’s doorstep, he spotted them right away.
“Mom, I think there’s a Boy Scout at the door,” said Jackson.
“I’m so happy just thinking about Jackson’s future, and all the things he’ll be able to experience after his transplant.
“Lindsey is a beautiful person for giving him his future,” Kristi said.
Lindsey presented Jackson with a plaque featuring two hands holding a kidney, which says:
“Jackson, I took an oath to serve and protect my community.
My kidney will now be able to serve and protect you!
I am your kidney donor.”
Hearing Kristi recount the experience is beautiful:
“To my suprise, two police officers walk in:
‘Kristi and Jackson, these are for you,’ one of them says as she hands Jackson and I both a wrapped package.
I read on the outside of mine, To Kristi — Happy Early Mother’s Day. Love, Lindsey.
I had to unwrap it slightly to see the word “kidney” on the sign and right then and there, I knew our prayers were answered.
There were lots of hugs and so many tears. Some may see her as a hero for protecting our community as a police officer.
I look at her as a hero for saving my little boy’s life.”
Of the gift, Jackson noted, “I think Lindsey’s kidney will make me run faster.”
As for Lindsey, she just sees herself as an ordinary, loving mom.
“I know many think that my job as a police officer played a part in my decision, but it really was that I am a mom first.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am just another person in the village helping give a child the ability to live a longer life.”
Lindsey told LittleThings:
I am her son’s donor! I appreciate more than you’ll know spreading the awareness of being a living donor.
There are 118,000 people in the U.S. awaiting a transplant. 100,000 are awaiting a kidney!
Last year, living donors saved 6,000 lives. Anyone who is 18 and older, healthy, and interested in becoming a living donor can contact their nearest transplant hospital!
If you want to learn more about becoming an organ donor, visit the government’s organ donation website.
Please SHARE this article with your friends and family if you think it’s incredible that a police officer donated her kidney to a complete stranger!