Letter: No age boundaries for organ donors

We’d like to first thank The Aspen Times and writer Andre Salvail for the three recent articles about living kidney donation in the valley. Pepper Gomes, Marguerite Benjamin and Arturo Garcia have received the gift of life thanks to the selfless and heroic decision of their kidney donors.

In the most recently published article, “Aspen police official provides kidney to sheriff’s deputy’s daughter,” we noticed an error regarding the maximum age of living kidney donors. According to the article, “Kidney donors need to be younger than 50,” when in fact they can be up to 60 years old and are sometimes older. Organ donors in general can be all ages, and one donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of 50 others through tissue donation.

At the Chris Klug Foundation, we are committed to eliminating the wait for the more than 123,000 Americans waiting for a transplant today. While the locals that The Aspen Times profiled have been fortunate, 18 people die each day waiting for a life-saving transplant. Becoming a registered organ and tissue donor is a way to have a lasting legacy, and it’s as simple as going to to register and document your decision. For more information on organ donation or on the Chris Klug Foundation, please contact us at 970-618-7120.

Chris Klug

Founder and Chairman, Chris Klug Foundation

Beth Slater

Executive director, Chris Klug Foundation

Editor’s note: While there is no exact cut-off age for organ donations, there is considerable debate within the medical community regarding the preferred age for kidney transplants. Some experts suggest that a living donor who is younger than 50 offers a better chance for the long-term success of the transplant.