On December 8th, Adam Carolla took a call on his podcast from long time listener Josh West, whose brother Nick is in need of a kidney transplant. Nick, 35 from Indianapolis, has been on dialysis since 2011. Frustrated by the long wait his brother has had to endure, Josh figured he'd reach out to Adam to see if he'd be willing to spread the word on his popular podcast.
Not only did Carolla agree, but it got him rolling on a short rant. "First off, wouldn't you love to live in this utopia where instead of all those freeway signs saying 'click it or ticket' they said 'become a donor'? Instead of having zero impact on 0.0% of the population, you'd actually have a life saving impact on a percentage of the population. Wouldn't that be nice?"
Carolla continued to lament why it's illegal for money to exchange hands in kidney transplant situations. "I’m all for a buyer seller market on this. If somebody wants 10 grand or 15 or 20 grand, and you want a kidney and, especially when your gonna die! It’s so insane for the government to say sorry, you’re not allow to do that. So anyway, how do you want to be buried? Hey, if you have a dad that’s rich, or you happen to be rich, and you’re on dialysis, and you've got Dawson (Adam's producer) over there and he wants some cash? So be it. That’s kinda between the two of you."
This inspired the Ace Man to open his checkbook for the cause. "I’ll tell you what, Josh. How about this? I’m sure this will be an issue, but who the fucks cares? I will offer $10,000, not for somebody’s kidney, but just a gift for the person if it’s a match. If you step up and donor this organ, I will be so thankful that I’ll give you a gift."
Any potential donors interested in becoming a living donor to Nick should email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolla didn't offer any details regarding the reward, but Josh promised to check back to the show, should a donor be found thanks to the podcast.
Not only do I agree with Adam, but I don't understand why the government is more than happy to foot the bill for Medicare to keep people on dialysis for years, but they won't reward folks financially who donate a kidney.
Instead of spending hundreds of thousands on a single person to cover dialysis cost, why not pay a willing donor $25,000 or $50,000 after they donate? Not only would the number of live kidney donations skyrocket, but that kind of cash could really have a positive impact on the donor. In the meantime, the tax payers are saving millions because dialysis times are reduced significantly.
Obviously, this would need be highly regulated to prevent people from harvesting kidneys willy nilly, but I see no reason why this isn’t a good idea. Right now dialysis patients are waiting for cadaver kidneys, living donors who know them personally, or the rare good samaritan stranger. It just isn’t enough.
You can listen to the episode here: http://adamcarolla.com/bret-ernst The whole show is good, but if you want to skip to the conversation with Josh, it's right around minute 28 of the episode.
Update: April 14th, 2015. As a regular listener to the podcast, I haven't heard a peep since this was mentioned on the show. This blog post, however, has received a regular flow of comments below. I'm sure you'll agree with me that all of them are fishy and most likely spam. I'm not sure the details of how shady people would screw you out of money/kidney, but please use your head and beware. Instead of marking the comments as spam, I'll leave them up as a warning.
As for you people posting about super-terrific-number-one-transplant-hospital below, hear this and hear it well. If your attempts in broken English to offer money for foreign kidney transplants are legit and only seem suspicious due to language barriers, good luck and keep trying. If you're somehow trying to scam people as I suspect you are, you sir/madam are a piece of shit and a horrible, terrible, excuse of a human being. Please kill yourself. That is all.
Update: May 7th, 2015. It got to the point that every day some piece of garbage commented on this post promising big big money for your kidney. I emailed a few of these dopes pretending to be interested and let's just say my thoughts about my fellow man took turn for the worse. It turned off the comments.
Update: June 3rd, 2015. Listening to the show today and Nick and Josh called in. Nick received a kidney over memorial day weekend from 21 year old male who passed away. Adam went on a great rant of why being an organ donor isn't being discussed more and he offered suggestions on how to give people incentive to do so. Thanks, Ace Man.
Discussion starts at 18:00. http://adamcarolla.com/kevin-nealon-3/
Robert Brumm is the author of seven books. He's one kidney short and wouldn't mind a nice fat check in it's place.