'Kidney chain' donors, recipients meet

[St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 24, 2010] Bring together five kidney donors and their organ recipients for the first time, and you can expect to hear plenty of people giving thanks.

But the banter can be pretty good, too.

As Matthew Kleve, 36, of South St. Paul talked Tuesday about how much more energy he has with his new kidney, his donor Heather Reinke, 37, of Elk River wanted to know: “Do you like to shop for shoes and Coach handbags now, too?”

Across the room, it was recipient Pricilla Deshayes, 51, of Emily, who was making the jokes.

“I’m going to keep her close to me,” she said of donor Ann Agrimson, 48, of Minneapolis. “I’m going to put her on the list for future parts just in case I need them.”

The scene played out at a luncheon at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, which was one of three medical centers in July that played a role in the region’s first-ever “kidney chain.”

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