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Hammond man creates kidney donor website for Northern New Yorkers

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HAMMOND — A Hammond man has helped create a website that connects kidney donors with recipients in Northern New York after finding his own kidney donor online.

Scott W. Kron, who was diagnosed last year with IgA nephropathy, a hereditary kidney disease, struggled for months to find a donor. In November, he turned to Facebook and local media for help finding a match.

In January, Lyons Falls resident Evangeline “Vangie” T. Yelton, 43, donated the kidney that saved Mr. Kron’s life after reading his story on Facebook.

“Before, we didn’t have this kind of notification system in the north country,” Mr. Kron said.

The two have since joined together to create the Northern New York Kidney Connection at www.kidneyconnection.org.

North country donors can search the website for potential recipients based on location and blood type. Information on where donors can be tested for a match and how donors and recipients can meet is available.

To protect the donor, information can be shared anonymously through the website, Mr. Kron said.

“Many people don’t want to be recognized or are scared of the publicity that can sometimes come with donating,” Mr. Kron said.

He said recipients and donors without an Internet connection can have someone register on their behalf.

The website also offers a place for donors and recipients to share their stories, Mr. Kron said.

He planned to share his story with Jefferson Community College students this week.

“We’re trying to get the word out,” Mr. Kron said. “People just don’t know. There isn’t a lot of education on it. Our goal is to make people aware.”

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