Daughter Donates Kidney to Dad; Family Gives Back Through Annual 5K Run/Walk

Team Share Your Spare, led by Lindsay Lopian, living kidney donor to her father Allan Lauher.

When Lindsay Lopian and her sister learned that their dad needed a kidney transplant, neither one of them had to think twice about being tested as possible donors.

Their father’s reaction was completely and understandably different. Like any dad who wants the best for his children, Allan Lauher didn’t want to burden either of his girls.

“As soon as Mom told us, we were both ready to be tested,” Lindsay recalls. “But he said there was no way his daughters were going to donate a kidney.”

In his mid-50s, Allan has struggled with high blood pressure and only had one remaining kidney after the other had been removed when he was a child.

In the summer of 2011, his doctor advised him that high blood pressure had taken its toll on his kidney. His only options were dialysis or a transplant.

Although he didn’t want to accept a kidney from his daughters, he changed his mind after more education from the transplant team at Memorial Medical Center, who helped him understand that this was his best chance to return to a normal life.

Both sisters had their blood tested, but staff focused on Lindsay since she lives in Springfield; her sister, Abby Mota, lives in Phoenix. Allan is from Tovey, about 20 miles southeast of Springfield. Lindsay was a match, and the transplant was scheduled for October 2011.

“It was the easiest decision that I ever had to make in my life,” Lindsay says. She was eager to help her dad return to work and not be so tired all the time. “He has three little grandchildren, and we wanted him to be able to play with them.”

Nearly a year after the transplant, “Dad is doing great,” the 30-year-old mom says.

Lindsay and her family are helping other transplant patients and their families by participating in the annual 5K run/walk to benefit The Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial. The eighth annual event will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in Springfield’s Washington Park.

Proceeds benefit the hospital’s transplant fund, which provides assistance to transplant patients in financial need with medication and other medical needs, education for patients and staff, and continuing program development.

In 2011, Lindsay said they had a 15-member team, named Share Your Spare, of family and friends, which was recognized as the team that raised the most funds. They’re organizing another team for this year.

Lindsay said she wasn’t nervous about the surgery. “I really wanted this to happen for my dad so he could return to a normal life.”

To participate in the Memorial Transplant Services’ 5K run/walk, you can register online on the hospital’s website. For more information, call 217-788-3441.

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