CARTHAGE, Mo. — For the second time in two years — a member of the Carthage School Family needs a kidney donation. And for the second time — the donor is also part of the Carthage School family.
“I don’t want to say simple. It’s a, it’s a longer process, but it’s so rewarding,” said Nicole Renken, Kidney Donor.
It’s how Carthage Math Teacher Nicole Renken looks at her offer to donate a kidney. Surgery is set at the end of the month to help retired Carthage Junior High Librarian Betsi McCrary.
“They told me I had to take a minimum of two weeks off and work on the school. And then after about three to four months, you’re supposed to be back to normal health, 100 percent. So, it’s really incredible that it and that’s why to me, it blows my mind that more people don’t donate,” said Nicole.
She’s happy to do it — and is sharing her story with co-workers at a Kidney Donation Awareness lunch at school. Nicole points out the process started two years ago when Carthage Teacher Jason Worrall needed a kidney.
“We were talking about the expenses and how expensive it was to, for the whole process. And Betsi stood up and said that it was very expensive and that she knew because she also needed a kidney. So, that’s when we found out. And so right after that meeting, I went up to her and I said, ‘Hey, if it doesn’t work out for Jason, then you can have my kidney’. And then we laughed and here we are,” said Nicole.
It wasn’t a match for Jason — but he found one in fellow teacher Chelsey Abbott. A transplant that was a big success.
“I’ve had routine visits to the doctor and all my lab work is coming out great. I feel really good. I have a lot of energy and I’m just living life and living my best life — compared to what I was before my transplant — so just really amazing,” said Jason Worrall, Kidney Recipient.
And he’s thrilled his search for a match helped Betsi find Nicole.
“She kept wanting to be a donor and was willing and when the chance came for our coworker, Betsi to have a kidney she stepped up to the plate and she was a match for her. So it’s pretty amazing stories.”Jason Worrall, Kidney Recipient
Betsi and Nicole are scheduled for transplant surgery in St. Louis on October 31st.