Improving life through organ donation

Kayla McCloud, a member of Basin Electric Class C member Capital Electric Cooperative in Bismarck, ND, says she would tell anyone to donate.

Kayla McCloud has known for much of her life she might donate a kidney one day. That’s not something you typically hear.

On June 21, McCloud, who is a member of Basin Electric Class C member Capital Electric Cooperative in Bismarck, ND, became the fifth person in her family to donate a kidney to another family member. Her father was the first in 1989.

“When I was about 10 years old, my dad donated to my aunt, his sister, Rosemary. When he donated, I remember my mom stayed home with us. He went to the cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) and came home to recover.”

Through generations, members of McCloud’s family have had a genetic disorder called polycystic kidney disease (PKD). According to the National Kidney Foundation, PKD causes numerous cysts to grow in the kidneys. These cysts are filled with fluid. If too many cysts grow or if they get too big, the kidneys can become damaged. PKD cysts can slowly replace much of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and leading to kidney failure.

After her dad, McCloud’s aunt, Cece, donated to her uncle, Pete, and her cousin, Clet, donated to her aunt, Vonnie. And, McCloud’s cousin, Mitch, donated to his brother, Clint, about three years ago.

McCloud says two years ago, in August 2015, she decided to get checked to find out if she was a match for her cousin, Carla Bock, who she learned would need a transplant or would have to start dialysis. “The recipient can’t ask people to be a donor, and they can’t compensate you in any way,” McCloud says.

Learn more about McCloud’s journey in the July-August 2017 issue of Basin TodayGiving the gift of life.

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