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A gift given in love

Organ donation unites sisters-in-law

January 4, 2011
By KIM LOCCISANO For The Times Leader

IF YOU ask Ranae Teasdale what she did last summer her answer will likely surprise you: she donated a kidney to her sister-in-law, Jackie Kish.

It was December 2009 when Ranae Teasdale learned she was an organ donor match for her sister-in-law Jackie Kish, who was badly in need of receiving a kidney transplant.

A year later the women were able to enjoy a family Christmas celebration, with both now being in good health following the transplant surgery which was done this past summer.

Article Photos

Ranae Teasdale (left) and her sister-in-law Jackie Kish share more than just a close family relationship. When Jackie's health got to the critical point at which she needed a kidney transplant it was Renee who was successfully able to donated a kidney. Above is a photo of a promotion sticker to encourage others to donate their organs to help those who are awaiting transplants.

Teasdale's Aunt Kitty Lewis recently nominated her for recognition as The Times Leader's "Hey That's My Neighbor" for this month.

Lewis believes Teasdale's willingness to donate the kidney to Kish is a great example of love and selfless generosity: but not something unexpected of her.

Teasdale, when contacted about having been chosen for this monthly honor, was hesitant to draw attention to herself for having offered and donated the kidney to Kish.

"I believe in organ donation," is her straightforward and immediate response to the persistent question of why would she - a healthy person - put herself and her personal good health potentially at risk.

She does not consider this question as being one that really needed to be asked, because the action simply needed to happen.

Screenings had been being done in the hope of finding a kidney donor; one had been located but the plan ultimately fell through.

Teasdale's ability to be a match for her sister-in-law was in a very real sense an answer to the prayers of many: including her own.

"It was really pretty simple, my sister-in-law was sick and was getting worse," offered Teasdale. "She had gone through so much; and was having to do dialysis - but kind of hit a wall and reached a point where there was no question that she needed to get the transplant."

This woman of deep faith felt this was not a decision she actually made alone, but it was reached thanks in large part to her personal religious beliefs and strong commitment to living that faith through her decisions and actions.

There is nothing simple about the entire transplantation process.

"It was not really even my gift to give," she said. "But, being able to make a difference for her was amazing. To be able to share a gift with her that would let her be able to go on as a mother and wife and keep making memories with the family and friends she loves."

For more than a year Kish had made her way through various treatment options, partially in a focused effort to put off Teasdale having to undergo the surgery to donate the kidney to her.

"Once we found out I was a match for her, I left the decision about when to do the surgery up to her ." Teasdale noted.

Teasdale immediately began preparing for it, so when the time came for the procedure her good health helped the process go well and it helped keep preventable concerns at a minimum.

A busy wife and mother of two, Teasdale and her husband, Chad, are the parents of two daughters; one in college and one in elementary school. Kish and her husband, Dennis, are the parents of one daughter.

Teasdale does not see her action as anything more than the right thing to do.

"I'm not a hero or an angel," she offered, referring to the comments that often come from people when they first learn of the organ donation to her sister-in-law.

It is an opporunity to increase the possibility that others will make the personal decision to register as potential organ donors when they have the opportunity, and will share that decision with family and friends.

And although she says she isn't a hero or an angel, her family and friends know otherwise.

She gave a special gift to her sister-in-law ... a gift of life.

Loccisano may be reached at



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