Emily Cohen had already lost her mother and older sister to Polycystic Kidney Disease when she decided to donate her kidney.
Photo provided by Emily Cohen
CINCINNATI -- Emily Cohen knows how devastating Polycystic Kidney Disease can be.
Both her mother and her older sister died from complications. Her sister, Este Wolf, also has the disease. Of her three siblings, Cohen was the only one who wasn’t diagnosed.
The disease, which causes cysts to grow on the kidneys, is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
After Cohen’s mother had her two older sisters, doctors told her she shouldn’t have anymore children.
“But she was a lady who had another idea. She wanted to surprise my dad with a third baby, so she ended up having me,” Cohen said.
Now, decades later, Cohen is a perfect match for her sister. Cohen donated her kidney as Wolf’s disease worsened at age 47.
“It's about 20 percent of siblings are a perfect match,” Wolf said. “So I was fortunate that … she was a selfless, giving, caring person.”
A month after the procedure, Cohen and Wolf are healing beautifully, and their father, Jeff Stein, said he couldn’t be more relieved.
“If you can imagine having two daughters on the table at the same time, but the people at the hospital were phenomenal,” Stein said.
If you’re interested in becoming a kidney donor, call 513-584-7001.