Can You Help a Brother?

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Jack Sperry '85 has been transplant-approved

Brother Jack Sperry has a problem – he needs a kidney. Jack’s brother Henry shared the details in a recent Facebook post:

“Jack … is a beloved brother and the father of two beautiful teen-aged daughters, Alex and Emma Sperry.

“Fifteen years ago, Jack was diagnosed with Berger’s Syndrome (IgA Neuropathy), a kidney disease that occurs when a specific antibody lodges in one’s kidneys. THERE IS NO CURE. The disease slowly progresses over years until eventually, the kidneys cease functioning. When Jack was diagnosed, the hope was that the disease would progress so slowly that medical intervention would not be required in his lifetime.

“Sadly, this is not the case. His kidney function is below the critical threshold. It is time for serious medical intervention. Last fall, Jack’s local nephrologist referred Jack to both the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University transplant centers. I am pleased to report that after thorough and comprehensive medical evaluations, Jack has been approved by both centers for organ transplant.

“Jack has three options, but only one which offers the promise of a normal life expectancy. Option 1 is kidney dialysis. While this option does extend life expectancy, it is burdensome and for someone Jack’s age, the average life expectancy on dialysis is 10 years. Option 2 is a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. But the wait for such a donor can be up to 5 years. The average useful life expectancy of a deceased donor transplant is 10 – 15 years.

“By far the most favorable option is the third one, live donor transplant. Live donor transplants can last 20 – 25 years (even longer). Such a transplant would carry Jack into his late 70’s or even his 80’s, allowing him the joy of walking his daughters down the aisle, sharing love and life with his grandchildren, continuing to cherish his friends and family, and giving him the opportunity to pay forward the generosity of the hero who saved him.

Jack’s brothers are not acceptable candidates for kidney donation, so they are reaching out through social media to find a donor. You can help by sharing his need and/or reaching out to the transplant centers directly to see if you might qualify.

The donor match process begins with a phone call or going on-line. For both Medical Centers you will need to use Jack’s legal name (John P. Sperry) and his birthdate (March 4, 1963).

To reach the Ohio State Program:

Call 1-800-293-8965 Option #3

To reach the University of Cincinnati Program:  

Call UC Health’s waitlist coordinator, Beth Sanders, at (513) 584-0784.

Here’s a final word from Jack’s brother: “My intention is not to give anyone a guilt trip. My goal is simply to get the word out to as many as people as possible so that a potential hero for my brother can be found. Even if you aren’t interested in being a donor, would you mind sharing this with your contacts in some shape or form so that the word can be spread? From all of us who love Jack Sperry, God bless you.”