Jim Plante founded The Foundation for Kidney Transplant Research after he found out that his family carried the gene for polycystic kidney disease. The patients will require a kidney transplant at some point in their lives, and the best outcome to the transplant is when the donor is a family member. Realizing that he and his family will need a donor that is not related to them, Plante began to study about kidney transplants. Below is a closer look at his life and work, and the various accomplishments he has been able to achieve for kidney transplants and research.
Once Mr. Plante began studying the kidney transplant process, he realized that it was in need of some serious change. He learned that many kidney patients die every single year waiting on an organ, the black market for acquiring kidneys is very active all over the world, and the number of patients undergoing dialysis weekly is one of the biggest cost for Medicare. Not only that, but he also realized the obstacles a living donor faces.
The National Organ Transplant Act
For the United States, the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984 governs kidney transplants. The law was passed many years ago, when people were not affected by kidney disease as much. Because of that, under NOTA guidelines, the donor is responsible for paying for any travel regarding their donation, weeks of lost wages while they recovery from the surgery, and the various amounts of money it costs for medical visits, follow-ups, and prescribed pain medications.
Setting up the Foundation
After much research, Plante set up the Foundation for Kidney Transplant Research to change the policies so that a solution can be found to increase the number of kidneys available for donation and educate the public on the various issues one faces that is suffering from kidney disease.
Mr. Plante is very well known in the medical field with his research and accomplishments in the field of genetics and all of the work he has done to bring awareness to those affected by kidney disease and providing them with the hope of a kidney transplant during their lifetime.