FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- The need for kidney transplants is great in our area and on both sides of the state line.
At the “Big Ask, Big Give” event on Sunday morning, donors and recipients gathered to spread awareness.
Jon Sink shared the big moment where he participated in Kansas City’s largest kidney donation chain. Now, he aims to inspire others to do the same.
“About a year ago, I donated a kidney to a stranger,” he said. “My whole mission going forward was to help somebody that needed help. Here I am, a healthy person with two functional kidneys, and there are thousands of people on the wait list.”
Right now, the kidney transplant wait list in the state of Missouri is more 1,550. On the Kansas side, it is at nearly 300. Nationwide, there are 100,000 people who need a kidney.
On that wait list is Melinda Olson’s husband.
“He had a transplant 32 years ago when he had a kidney disease,” she said. “That kidney has lived its purpose, but is now failing and now he’s needing to get a new kidney.”
She said events like the one held on Sunday give her hope and said awareness is the perfect way to fight the long wait list.
“We thought with the anniversary of his transplant date coming up, it would be a perfect opportunity to let people know he still needs a kidney transplant,” she said. “This will be a good opportunity to get the word out there and find a match.”
Big Ask, Big Give served to start that conversation and see if any family members, friends, or even a stranger can be a perfect match to save someone's life.
“Before this happened to me, I rarely heard of organ donation and the need for it,” Sink said. “I think we need to do a better job in advocating for this cause.”
“If I could improve their quality of life with a little setback of my own, well, why not give it a shot?” he said.