Bardstown woman who needs a kidney transplant testifies in Congress to change transplant policy; bill passes

A Bardstown woman waiting on a kidney transplant shared her story with Congress and asked them to support legislation that would allow more than one organization to manage the country’s organ donations and transplants, Monica Harkins reports for WDRB.

“I’m just asking that you all stand behind this legislation as we move forth and that all of Congress stands together to pass this legislation so more lives can be saved and less can be put in coffins,” LaQuayia Goldring told senators in July.

The legislation passed, and at the end of September, President Biden signed it into law.

Goldring told Harkins that she was three years old when she was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer. Harkins writes that Goldring “beat the cancer” in about a year, but more than a decade later she was told there were signs of kidney failure.

A week after her 17th birthday, Goldring said she learned she needed a kidney transplant and that it only took 10 days to get a match and get the procedure.

“It was able to last from the age of 17 to 25,” she told Harkins.  “I’m now 34. I’ve been waiting nine years for a kidney transplant. And our system is broken.” For nine years she’s been required to do dialysis treatments five days a week to stay alive.

Harkins writes that part of the waiting process is getting your name registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing,  the sole organization that managed the country’s organ donation policies for the past 40 years.

Just a few months ago, Harkins reports that “Goldring found out her name had been removed from the list due to a clerical error. A mistake that fueled part of her testimony in front of U.S. Senators in July.”

Goldring told the senators of her struggles with UNOS and asked them to break up the UNOS monopoly and allow more contracts to be considered for handling organ transplants.

When Biden signed the legislation to do just that, Goldring told Harkins she was “overjoyed, with, with just joy and tears of relief.”

“It’s one thing to hear leaders, like our President, talk about organ donation and how their administration is going to do something to change it, but to actually have a law after 40 years signed doesn’t get any better than that,” she said.

Goldring is still waiting and praying for a life-saving donation.

“I’m just staying hopeful that that one match will come and, you know, this will be a thing of the past,” she told Harkins.

According to Donate Life, more than 105,000 Americans are waiting for life-saving organ transplants, 1,000 of them Kentuckians. Goldring has a social media campaign for people who would like to see if they are eligible to donate and to follow her journey.

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