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Monday June 24th 2019

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That's what she said

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Save a Life


Dear Blue Line Readers,

I hope you will be open to something completely different from the Blue Line today. I’m trying to help a friend. Her name is Masa Holle and she needs a kidney transplant. Masa, a Naropa grad with a master’s degree in counseling psychology, lived in Boulder for several years but now lives in beautiful, affordable Paonia, Colorado, where she has a successful counseling practice. She is a kind, funny, bright and generous person who has devoted much of her life to caring for others, particularly youth and women in crisis.

Masa Holle at home in Paonia

Masa, 62, has volunteered countless hours at women’s resource centers both in Boulder and on the west slope. She became her nephew’s guardian when he was 11 and raised him in Boulder when his own parents couldn’t.  She continues to work with youth through a local program that matches a volunteer mentor with a young person trying to pursue a career in the arts. She has served hundreds of long nights on crisis hotlines and provides pro bono counseling services to low income clients through her practice.

Masa has kidney failure of unknown origin. She was recently placed on the deceased donor wait list, along with 100,000 other people. The average wait time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3-5 years. While she waits, she will have to go on life support via dialysis. Anyone who has been on dialysis will tell you that it is no way to live. Many don’t survive the wait—twelve people die each day while waiting for a transplant.

Her best chances of survival are if she receives a kidney donation from a living donor. With living kidney donation, one of a donor’s two kidneys is removed laparoscopically and transplanted into a waiting recipient. The donor spends a couple of days in the hospital and then a few weeks recovering at home.

What’s it really like to donate a kidney? Please feel free to ask my husband, Roger, who donated a kidney on my behalf. Or ask David in Toledo, who donated a kidney directly to me so that his friend could receive a lifesaving kidney from Roger. Either of these kidney donors would be happy to talk to you. Almost three years later, Roger is doing fine and living a normal life, riding his bike to work, hiking with our dog, and being a dad to our two kids. David has not slowed down at all—he competes nationally in speed golf. These guys are my heroes.

Masa desperately needs a hero too. Having been the one who cares for others for so long, she finds it difficult to reach out on her own behalf. That’s why I’m posting this to the Blue Line. I hope you will consider kidney donation to save a life. You don’t have to be a blood type match to help her. If your blood type does not match Masa’s, it might match another waiting recipient who has a partner who is a match for Masa.

To inquire about living kidney donation, please call the University of Colorado Transplant team’s Living Donor Coordinator at 720-848-0855. Let them know that you’re calling for patient Masa Holle. They will answer your questions and keep your information confidential.

Here are some links with information:

University of Colorado Living Donor FAQ:

National Kidney Foundation:

Alliance for Paired Donation:

Masa’s Facebook page:

Masa lives in beautiful Paonia, Colorado

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