The Norman Transcript

Local news

March 18, 2013

Tragedy prompts Chickasha woman to donate kidney

CHICKASHA — Two years ago, Mark Lindsay’s life was fairly routine. He’d get up around 5:30 in the morning, head to work, develop flu-like symptoms around 4:30 p.m. and head to bed around 7:30 p.m.

During his 10-hour sleep, Mark had fluid pumped into his abdomen via dialysis. For more than four years, this was his life.

Two years ago Christy Branch and her daughter, Mary Wilkinson, were fighting alongside Mark Wilkinson, Branch’s son and Wilkinson’s brother, as he battled cancer. Sadly, it was a battle he lost in May 2011.

Despite Branch and her daughter being life-long Chickasha residents and Lindsay growing up in Yukon, working every summer in Minco and achieving an undergrad from OU, these three people never met.

That is, they never met until earlier this year when a series of amazing events left Lindsay with the ownership of one of Mary Wilkinson’s kidneys.

Lindsay suffered from a disease that essentially laid waste to his kidneys. To this day, his doctors don’t know the cause of the illness. All they know is Lindsay needed a transplant or this sickness would eventually claim his life.

Lindsay said a friend of his told him about the website, matchingdonors.com, and although he was initially skeptical, Lindsay eventually joined the site.

Wilkinson was already on the site when Lindsay joined.

After two rounds of chemotherapy, her brother’s liver was severely damaged and he needed a transplant.

“I wasn’t compatible with him, so I thought maybe we could find someone on the site who was and I could trade something they needed for a liver transplant,” she said.

Sadly, that day never came and Mark Wilkinson lost his battle to cancer.

Lindsay reached out to Wilkinson via telephone earlier this year, hoping she would be interested in flying to California for testing.

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