Seven Sisters of Loyola give kidneys, change lives

April 28, 2011 4:48:24 AM PDT
Each of the Seven Sisters of Loyola has given a kidney to someone, mostly to people they don't know, and changed not only those lives, but many others.

" It feels good to be here. It is priceless. What she did, if would like to do," James Love said Wednesday of his landlady, Barbara Thomas, who gave him a kidney.

Thomas heard Love couldn't find a donor so Thomas, who works at the Loyola Kidney Transplant Program, decided to see if she were a match. She was.

Thomas is one of the "Seven Sisters of Loyola," who are part of their hospital's pay it forward program.

"As a result of the pay it forward program, donations from the Seven Sisters have resulted, and I know this number is a little in question today, but has resulted in not seven people's lives being changed but 28 dialysis-dependent people's lives have changed," said Dorothy Jambrosek, kidney donor.

A year ago, Loyola teamed up with hospitals around the country. The concept: sick people who needed kidneys shouldn't have to wait for someone who's a perfect match to die. Instead, if a kidney patient's family member wanted to donate, they did and a recipient was found somewhere, probably unrelated. In turn, another good Samaritan somewhere else might turn out to be a perfect match for another patient.

Christina Lamb, one of the Seven Sisters, was inspired when a cousin-in-law donated a kidney to her husband. Now, she has met her own recipient.

"It is unbelievable. He is a gorgeous young man who had color in his face," said Lamb.

Jane Thomas is a nurse at Loyola. Her recipient is a 37-year-old father of four.

"I feel really good that he is well and he is off dialysis and if have been able to help his family have more time with him," Jane Thomas said.

Learn about the Seven Sisters and the program at