Julie Ratka Donates Kidney, Encourages Others To Follow

People in need of a kidney transplant can be on a waiting list anywhere from a few months to ten years. Wait time is shorter in Nebraska than in many states across the country thanks to donors like Julie Ratka of Minden who recently donated a kidney to her cousin Virgie Widdowson of Omaha.
Widdowson was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder nearly 11 years ago. She began dialysis last year and started looking into kidney transplant options shortly after. After being evaluated as a good candidate for transplantation at the Nebraska Med Center, she just needed a donor.
With the number of patients needing kidney transplants increasing every year and the number of deceased donors remaining steady, Widdowson’s wait could have been lengthy. To help her cousin, Ratka agreed to be tested as a living donor. She began the lengthy process at the beginning of the school year.

see February 22 Courier for full story

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