By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Independence resident Randy Holtmyer wants to give someone one of his kidneys.
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -
We've all heard the slogan "the gift of life."
For Independence resident Randy Holtmyer, it's not a slogan, it's the Christmas present he'd like to deliver.
Holtmyer wants to give someone one of his kidneys.
"Everybody's got two of them, and you can survive with one. That's just one thing I can live without," Holtmyer said.
Holtmyer's come a long way in the last three months, and he says he's looking to give something back.
"I've been in a lot of trouble my whole life. I hit rock bottom a few months back. My mom and stepdad have taken me under their wing and given me a home until I can get back on my feet," Holtmyer told KCTV5 News.
Broke and behind bars, Holtmyer decided it was time to turn his life around and start giving rather than taking.
"God gave me this body for a purpose. I feel that this is one way of giving back, giving someone a second chance," Holtmyer said.
More than 77,000 people are waiting for a kidney, liver, heart or pancreas in the United States alone. Locally, less than a dozen transplants from random donors will be performed. Doctors say the supply of kidneys is dwindling.
"It has a lot to do with overall general health. In this country, obesity, diabetes and hypertension are major medical problems, so the number of qualified donors is declining," said Dr. Henry Randall, director of transplantation at St. Luke's Hospital.
Randall said if a potential donor is healthy, they'll take the kidney.
"It's not always lifesaving, but it is always life-altering. And, for people who have run out of access for dialysis, a kidney transplant is lifesaving," said Randall.
For his part, Holtmyer said a donation would be a way to honor his mom and stepdad for giving him a second chance by giving someone else a second chance.
Click here for more information on organ donation.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.