October 6, 2009

Taxi Driver on Quest for Kidney

By barb-caldeira

A Valley woman in desperate need of an organ donor almost found her knight in shining armor. As it turns out, she's still searching for that perfect match.


Rita Van Loenen's kidneys are failing.


"I mean there's no cure for this, but there's something that can be done to help me," she said.


Tom Chappell is Rita's taxi driver -- her ride to the Mayo Clinic three times a week for dialysis who offered up much more than a lift to the hospital.


"I just asked her one day, I said 'Rita, has anybody ever offered you a kidney?'" Chappell said.


Van Loenen said, "I cried, because it was so stunning. A stranger would want to give me one of his kidneys."


But then the donor dream came crashing down. It turns out Tom isn't healthy enough for the surgery.


Now he has a new mission -- Chappell wants to find Van Loenen a new donor.



KPHO.com Phoenix, October 5

Tags: Mayo Clinic Arizona, Transplant

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