Aspirus Changes Organ Donation Policy

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A Waupaca woman who wants to donate one of her kidneys to her elderly mother has convinced her employer to change its policy on taking time off for such a procedure.

The surgery will require Betsy Wandtke to miss eight weeks of work as an emergency medical technician at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Her employer's short-term disability policy didn't cover the leave.

But, they listened when Wandtke approached them about making the change.

A survey by the University of Wisconsin's transplant clinic found few employers' short-term disability policies cover such leave.

And, that the average lost wages and travel cost live donors $1,500.

Wandtke says it took awhile to persuade her mother to go through with the surgery.

73-year-old Marjorie Christianson is a 14-year breast cancer survivor who has had a heart attack and four stents implanted to open arteries in her heart.

Christianson resisted because she didn't want to put her daughter's health in danger.

Wandtke says she's healthy and eager to do it for her mother.

Surgery is scheduled November 7.

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