Denver couple starts nonprofit for organ donors
DENVER – A Denver couple who faced the need for a kidney transplant have launched a nonprofit to help the families of organ donors.
Valeria and Errol Vermont started Divine Journey after their daughter donated a kidney for Valeria. In the process, they became aware of the financial burden faced by potential donors – a burden that may dissuade many from giving.
Recovery time for a donor can last up to two months – two months of lost wages and other costs, the couple note.
Divine Journey is trying to defray some of those costs borne by organ donors by providing stipends.
“Our daughter decided to give her mother a kidney, but she had no idea of how much money that can involve,” Errol Vermont told Denver’s KDVR-TV. “People who donate give up more than an organ. They lose money on their jobs, which means the rest of the family can suffer as well.”
Valerie Vermont’s kidneys shut down in 1998. She spent eight years on dialysis before the donation saved her life.
Nearly 50 percent of kidney transplants come from living donors. That percentage could be greater if potential donors had some financial help, activists say.
“It can cost about $5,500 a month for some people,” said Valerie Vermont.
Divine Journey plans a summer golf tournament and a fall fashion show to raise funds.
On the Net:
Divine Journey: http://www.divinejourneyinc.org