Local Man's Kidney Donation Inspires Others To Follow

1:29 PM, Mar 9, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - "I certainly in no way, shape or form do I consider myself a hero," says Greg Emminger of North Tonawanda.

Greg Emminger may not think he's a hero, but But Seema Ure sure does.

She's the Florida woman who Greg donated one of his kidneys to back in January.

Seema had been on dialysis for 12 hours a day for years and was slowly dying before back in January Greg literally gave her the gift of life.

"He's my Christmas angel, he took all my suffering away," Seema told us when we traveled to Boston where the donation took place.

On Thursday, Greg was thanked by the Western New York Kidney Connection - it was through the Kidney Connection's website that Greg found Seema and was moved by her plight.

Greg permitted us to tell the story of his donation in hopes of raising awareness about the need for kidney donors.

Scott Brown: "What's been the reaction to the story?"

Greg Emminger: "Overwhelming, I've gotten tons of e-mails and phone calls and things."

Scott Brown: "It's been about two months since the surgery would you do it again?"

Greg Emminger: "I'd do it again tomorrow. It was that good of an experience from the people I dealt with at the hospital, to just the overall success of the operation for myself and Seema, as well as kind of doing something that other people had never thought of doing and making them think about how simple it is.

"It was probably truly one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, it's a wonderful feeling to know I've made a difference in giving the gift of life to someone."

Right after our original story aired in February, we had volunteers in the studio from the Western New York Kidney Connection to take calls from people who might be interested in following Greg's lead.

Since then, three people have begun the testing process to become donors.

Jeanette Ostrom, WNY Kidney Connection: "This public awareness of living donors and Greg's story and the way he told it and your compassion in it too, the way you portrayed it, has been amazing for us. Anything that people can do to take people off the kidney waiting list is wonderful, that's what we're all about."

And so what started with a selfless gesture by a guy who insists that he's no hero, has now snowballed into something more.

Greg Emminger: "It really is just doing what good we can and paying it forward, and whether we know the person or not, helping out our fellow man."

If you're interested in learning more about the Western New York Kidney Connection: www.wnykidneyconnection.org






































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