Urtel stays hopeful while awaiting a second kidney transplant

Jim Urtel Jr., a harness racing enthusiast from Batavia, NY, is in need of another kidney transplant following a failed transplant from a deceased donor in 2020. Urtel, who was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2012, spent eight years on dialysis waiting for a donor. Despite his health challenges, Urtel finds inspiration from horses that were part of his life and remains positive while awaiting a second transplant. Urtel’s desire for a kidney donation has led him to collaborate with Kidneys for Communities, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect living donors and recipients through shared communities. Atul Agnihotri, Kidneys for Communities CEO and a kidney transplant recipient, stated that 96% of donations in the US are made to individuals known or related to the donor. Kidneys for Communities offers support and benefit packages to prospective donors and facilitates paired donations for incompatible pairs.

To support Urtel and potentially be a donor, interested individuals can visit his page on the Kidneys for Communities website and complete an online questionnaire. The process is non-binding, and potential donors can withdraw at any time. Urtel hopes his story can inspire others and encourages people to maintain a positive outlook while facing challenges. In the meantime, he focuses on his health and has lost over 50 pounds through a fitness plan. Urtel expressed his gratitude for his fortunate position, having witnessed the loss of many fellow dialysis patients over the eight years he spent on the treatment.

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