Back in 2013, Anthony Brown of Queens Village, New York, donated one of his kidneys to his mom, Rita Brown, and it literally saved her life. She had been diagnosed with kidney disease and initially the onset was slow, but then she took a turn for the worse. She needed dialysis, and the risk of death became very high.
But on World Kidney Day, their transplant surgery was a success, and the inspiring story made headlines. In fact, their story is so inspiring that it was covered in on NY Med, an 8-part ABC series that follows patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Newark University Hospital. It aired back in 2014, and the show followed Rita and her family through her medical procedures at New York Presbyterian Hospital last year, as well as an anniversary checkup this past March.“My first thought when I was asked to do the show was heck-to-the-no. I don’t want people knowing my personal business,” Brown said. Her son helped sway her decision. “My son said, ‘Well mom if you had known maybe you wouldn’t have been here.’”
He comments, “Donating a kidney was a life-altering experience that I will never forget. Because of the donation, my mom was able to avoid lengthy dialysis treatments and is now able to live a healthier life.”
He wants others to have those same results, so recently he traveled to Capitol Hill to join the American Kidney Fund and patient-advocates from around the country to speak with legislators about some of the challenges that face the kidney community, including kidney transplantation.
During his visit, he met with the offices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) to discuss the need to ensure kidney transplant patients have access to immunosuppressive medications.
He was also recently chosen to participate in the American Kidney Fund’s 5th Annual Kidney Action Day on Capitol Hill to speak with his members of Congress about kidney disease awareness and prevention.
He encourages others to do their part to help. He comments, “If everybody checked that donation box on their license it would make the world improve in a week. There are so many things that we take for granted that if we donated, we could change another person’s life.”
Watch their episode on ABC’s NY Med below: