Jason and Kara started dating in 2002. Kara's family, Kurt, Jamie, Kayla, and Karly quickly welcomed Jason into their family. Jason felt that Kayla and Karly were like younger sisters. Jamie really enjoyed having Jason around. At the time however, Kurt didn't see the potential of what would eventually become his 'favorite' son-in-law. In 2004, Roger, Kurt's brother was experiencing kidney failure. He had already received a kidney donation from his sister almost 20 years prior. This time Kurt would donate to him at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The surgery took place during the planning of Jason and Kara's wedding which took place in 2005. The same year their first child Rylee was born. The surgery was very successful for Roger and helped him to live a much higher quality of life until he passed away in 2014. Unfortunately, a couple years after the surgery Kurt began to experience a decline in his kidney function. In 2012 it became apparent that Kurt would need a transplant. Thinking that there would be a line of people between his kidney and Kurt, Jason quickly volunteered!
The donation process turned out to be much more than anyone would have expected. Along with Jason, Roger's wife and son both offered to donate. So did Kurt's youngest daughter Karly and wife Jamie. The process to find a donor started in 2015. Fran, Roger's widow, went for testing at Northwestern Hospital. During this testing they determined that she had ovarian cancer and would not be able to donate. The doctors said that without the testing for the kidney they probably would have never caught the cancer in time. Fran has since completed treatment and is doing well. Jamie and Kurt's nephew were also excluded due to minor health concerns. That left Karly and Jason. Jason felt that it was important for him to donate so that none of Kurt's daughters would have to decide whether to donate or not. In May of 2016 Jason began the testing to donate. During this testing it was determined that Jason was a near perfect match. The surgery was scheduled for August 22 at Northwestern Hospital. The transplant was an immediate success and Jason went home after only one night in the hospital and Kurt only two.
After the transplant Kurt and Jason both bounced back very quickly. Jason was able to attend a sales conference in Washington D.C. less than 3 weeks after surgery. Kurt was active and walking the week he got home. As the two continued to healed they realized how important it was to advocate for live donors. The message quickly resonated with family and friends and Jason was encouraged to continue to spread the word about the benefits and challenges to his community. Please contact Jason or Kurt to ask questions or hear even more details.