The Ripley Rotary Club features a guest speaker each week for the membership luncheon held at the Ripley Library.

JGH Radiologist, Dr. Joseph Skeens, spoke to the Ripley Rotary Club about the "living donor" program.  He explained that his reasons for bringing this issue to the forefront were both professional and personal.  As a husband of a kidney transplant recipient and a practicing medical doctor, he sees these types of diagnosis frequently and the effects the disease and surgeries have on the patients' families. For this reason, he feels strongly that the public needs to be informed of the donor choices and hopefully help find his wife a new organ in the process.  If the donor isn't suitable for his wife, they will still certainly have an impact on the life of another on the recipient list and this would be quite a legacy to leave...the gift of life!  

This live donor kidney transplant option is usually less publicized than the deceased donor (cadavar) kidney transplant because of the fear of lifelong problems for both the donor and the recipient.  Although there are associated risks, the reality is that it is a fairly routine procedure with average recovery time.  This procedure is being offered laprocopically and leaves minimal scarring.  As explained by Dr. Skeens, extensive screening proceeds any surgery or even being put on a list as a donor or recipient.  The donor will have an advocate that decides if/when the patient is suitable for donating and always makes his/her well-being the utmost priority.  A recent Department of Kidney Transplantation study determined that living donor kidney tranplantations showed higher graft survival and lower acute rejection rates compared with those from deceased donors.

Dr. Skeens' wife, the former Janet Hoff, from Jackson County is seeking a miracle at this time.  She writes in a letter presented to the Ripley Rotary Club the following:  This is a letter I never thought I would be writing 16 years after receiving a kidney transplant.  The cadaver transplant I received in 1996 has been damaged and is no longer working.  As a teenager, I was diagnosed with Lupus.  This condition led to renal failure.  The only choice I had at that time was dialysis, which I endured for 12 years.  Then I was blessed with the kidney transplant that allowed me to live a full and normal life for 16 years.  Unfortunately, a diagnosis of cancer aand the treatment for it destroyed with precious gift.  As a result, I find myself on dialysis once again.  My crrent life of hemodialysis, 3 days a week, has become my full-time job.  This grueling process, although keeping me alive, causes side effects that are life threatening, which I deal with 24 hours a day.  As a registered nurse, wife, mother, and grandmother, I am in need of the care I once gave to others.  If I am fortunate and get a new kidney, my goal is to work as an advocate for renal patients.  Should you consider giving me this gift, simply call Ohio State University, where I am on the active transplant list.  This will start the process of you becoming a living donor.  Tell the donor coordinator that you want to donate to me, Janet (Hoff) Skees, and they will instruct you with the next step.  God bless you for considering giving this gift of life to me!  For more information, pleas call OSU at (800)293-8965 or e-mail me directly at:  or phone (304)532-7625.  Janet

For more details on Kidney Transplantations or Donor Risks, Benefits, and Procedures, please visit the following website: