May 19, 2009
Chris Bergman decided to donate one of his kidneys to Bonnie Rosman several months before he met her in person.
The pair found each other on http://www.MatchingDonors.com, a site linking people in need of organ transplants with living donors.
Both are recovering well after a transplant Thursday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, just days after the two met on Mother's Day.
Bergman, a Wyoming father of three, said a period of turmoil in his life -- including a job transfer and the anniversary of his father's death -- made him want to help others.
He said he chose Rosman, a nurse from Riverwoods, because he saw similarities between her close-knit family and his. They also shared the same blood and tissue types, making a transplant possible.
Though donors aren't paid, MatchingDonors has drawn criticism from transplant groups and doctors who worry that it could subvert existing waiting lists and lead to illegal selling of organs.
Bergman and Rosman, 65, are the 100th donor-recipient pair to find each other through the site, MatchingDonors says.
The transplant means that Rosman, who had been waiting for a new kidney since 2007, won't have to get dialysis three times a week anymore.
“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves