Marjorie Wilhite

Marjorie Wilhite“I’ve had high blood pressure for years. Even medicine couldn’t control it very well. It just kept getting worse, and my creatinine level just kept going up. About two years ago, they asked me if I would consider dialysis. That sort of scared the stuffing out of me.

“But I had to do it, and so I did. We started talking about donation and finding a donor. Both of my daughters, Susan and Amy, wanted to see if they would qualify, but they were rejected due to health problems. Two of Amy’s friends then offered to be tested, and one came very, very close to being a match, and she agreed to donate her kidney to anyone who needed it if I could get a kidney, too.

“I’m way over the age of being in the regular kidney donation group, the deceased donor group. But they found someone in this chain who matched me perfectly, a young man whose daughter has had kidney problems.

“The people who are willing to donate have just got to be angels and the most unselfish people in the whole world to be willing to donate to whoever needs a kidney and face the discomfort and pain they go through. I wish there were more that could do it and be willing to do it. Maybe we would have a little better world.”

Celebrating the nation's longest kidney chain

High-tech medicine and human kindness combine in UAB's ongoing kidney chain, a series of transplant surgeries that have given 74 people so far a new lease on life. The chain is now the nation's longest ever.

The kidney chain has been kept going by many remarkable acts of sacrifice, and has revealed many moving stories of determination, even through pain. See how heartbreak bonded one family with UAB Baseball, and fueled a young boy's desire to start a foundation, in this video:

In their words, stories from our transplant donors and recipients.

Kendra BrooksKendra Brooks. After more than four years of dialysis treatments, Kendra Brooks received her transplant in April 2016. Kendra’s mom donated a kidney so her daughter could receive one and wrote a letter to share the news. “It said, ‘God has answered our prayers. We have a match.’ I cried puddles of tears of joy,” Kendra says. Learn more about Kendra.

sheldon vaughn webSheldon Vaughn. High blood pressure and diabetes ravaged Sheldon Vaughn’s kidneys, and it was the kindness of two donors who helped him achieve a transplant. “A dialysis nurse my wife and I came to know wanted to donate to me, but wasn’t a match for me, and her kidney went to a woman in Florida. But because of her donation, I was able go on the UAB list and received my kidney from a young woman named Nicole who had contacted UAB and wanted to donate her kidney to anybody. So in a sense, I feel like I have two donors.” Learn more about Sheldon.

laura burks w Laura Burks. With a desire to help others, Laura Burks was looking for her next opportunity when a friend posted on her blog about how she was going to donate a kidney. “I thought, ‘That is what I need to do,’ Laura says. “Before that, I didn’t know you could be a loving donor. I thought it was something that happens after you pass away. After realizing that I could give away an organ that I don’t have to have to live with, I thought, ‘If I don’t do this, my life’s not complete.’ I just knew somebody needed a kidney and they’re depending on some stranger to give up theirs, and I was that stranger. Learn more about Laura.

William Harris w William Harris. High blood pressure caused William Harris’ kidneys to fail, and he was told he would eventually need a kidney transplant to live. After nine years of dialysis treatments, his wish came true. “When I was told I was a candidate to get a transplant, and that there was a match for me, I didn’t have any fears,” William says. “I was humbled to know that someone wanted to give me a kidney.” Learn more about William.

Become a part of the chain

Donate a kidney 
If you would like to donate to someone in need of a transplant, begin by filling out this form. You can learn more about kidney transplantation at UAB here.  

Get on the list
If you are in need of a kidney transplant, you will need a referral from your nephrologist. Your doctor can get all the details here.

Give a gift
Support the UAB Comprehensive Transplant Institute with a donation online .


1 2017 UPDATE By the Numbers Kidney Chain 600px

Dr Locke quote

UAB Kidney Chain news

div kcFrom transplant lab worker to donor, employee becomes part of UAB’s world-record kidney chain

Divyank Saini is a UAB lab technologist and one of 17 employees who work behind the scenes at UAB Hospital to bring hope to those waiting on heart, lung, kidney, liver and other transplants. Saini made a decision that he wanted to do more than just his important work of interpreting lab samples to find the right matches. He decided to become a living donor and is UAB Kidney Chain donor No. 57. 


chalice kc2Science, generosity save lives in UAB Kidney Chain

Meet a family bound not by blood or name, but by their kidneys in the world’s longest living-donor kidney transplant chain. Discover how science and human kindness come together to save lives.


kc surgeryIncompatible, yet needed: What are incompatible kidney transplants? And why are they done?

The human body is primed to identify and destroy invaders like viruses, bacteria and other pathogens that can bring illness or death. Cells of the immune system and the antibodies they make recognize such foreign bodies and act to remove and destroy them. This defense system is a potential problem for kidney transplants. People have different blood groups and different human leukocyte antigens that can provoke an attack if a tissue, such as a kidney, or blood is transferred from one person to another. These two barriers are called blood group incompatibility and tissue (or histo-) incompatibility. A kidney transplant team uses the histocompatibility and blood bank testing laboratories to determine whether the tissues and blood group of a volunteer living kidney donor and the intended recipient match. A match is good, but matches are not always possible.


Jerry Phillips kcCommunity of the South: Donors help stretch UAB Kidney Chain to record 51 transplants

Fifty-first transplant means 102 total surgeries have been performed since December 2013 as the nation’s longest-ever chain continues to grow.


thompson kcNation’s longest kidney transplant chain reaches 34

The UAB kidney chain, which began December 2013 and expects more transplants in January 2015, ‘showcases the power of the human spirit in every aspect.’


nightline kcNation’s largest single-site kidney transplant chain underway at UAB

Since December, 21 living donor kidney transplants that have taken place at UAB are connected as donors “pay it forward” for a recipient to keep the chain going, and more transplants are scheduled for July.


locke press conferenceSnow can’t stop the Southeast’s largest kidney transplant chain at UAB

The unexpected 2014 snowstorm that crippled the Southeast did not deter the transplant team at UAB from continuing the largest nondirected donor chain ever performed at a single center in the Southeast. 


1 2017 UPDATE Kidney map 685

The kidney chain has brought donors and recipients to UAB from across the Southeast and as far away as New Jersey.

KC How it Works 1 9

Learn more

dr locke video

UAB transplant surgeon Jayme Locke, M.D., and transplant nephrologist Vineeta Kumar, M.D., discuss living kidney donation and paired-kidney exchange in a series of videos on UAB's MD Learning Channel.

  • Paula King
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Helena, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Lornette Stewart
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Shalimar, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Jovi Williams
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Shalimar, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Susan Miller
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Mobile, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Bay Minette, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Ellen Herron
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Quinton, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Shelly Gary
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Harvest, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Thomas Blankenship
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Lexington, Tennessee
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • James Mangus
    Additional Info
    • Hometown McKinney, Texas
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Martha Kelley
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Brookwood, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Justin Kelley
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Helena, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Brett Burks
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Saltillo, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Karon Tidwell
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Olive Branch, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Robin Oliver
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Montgomery, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Angelia Rigsby
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Eclectic, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Veronica Temple
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Bessemer, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Bessemer, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Mary Hanks
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Pensacola, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Paula Jones
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Milton, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Cathy Messer
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Oxford, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • David Messer
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Oxford, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • John Romeo
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Huntsville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Laura Romeo-Pierce
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Huntsville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Jocelin Davis
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Auburn, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Chicago, Illinois
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Ryane Burns
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Decatur, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Jason Burns
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Decatur, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Michael Little
    Additional Info
    • Hometown New Hebron, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Derek Lambert
    Additional Info
    • Hometown High Springs, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Allison Nelson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Abita Springs, Louisiana
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Courtney McLaughlin
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Clementon, New Jersey
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Katelyn Pickel
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Albany, Georgia
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Earl Pickel
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Albany, Georgia
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Marjorie Wilhite
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Pinson, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Kristi Jeter
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Nancy Roesle
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Youngstown, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Regina Roesle
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Lillian, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Diane Simmons
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Monroeville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Stephanie Freeman
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Brookwood, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Joseph Brown
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Amari Brown
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Thomas Freeman
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Brookwood, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • April Brooks
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Monroeville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Glen Peebles
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Town Creek, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Contessa Terry
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Moulton, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Price Johnson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Oxford, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Laura Lee
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Oxford, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Bryan Howard
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Prattville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Maria Howard
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Fort Worth, Texas
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Kay Mason
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Rogersville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Kasey Word
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Rogersville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • James Oliver
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Valley, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Robert Butler
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Lanett, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Franck Southon
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Denise Soulliere
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Cullman, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Estella Floyd
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Cantonment, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Kim Teele
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Fort White, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Nicholas Goodwin
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Mobile, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Felisa Goodwin
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Mobile, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Cathy Vandiver
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Tuscumbia, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Kelly Berwager
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Hoover, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Mary Reed
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Huntsville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Lauren Abernathy
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Huntsville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Glenda Park
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Alabaster, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • John Woolard
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Hoover, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Daphne Glenn
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Alexander City, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Linda Hessenberger
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Mendota, Illinois
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Thomas Thompson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Cantonment, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Belinda Beasley
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Pensacola, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Kiara Brown
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Silver Creek, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Denise Prewitt
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Irvington, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Marvin Wynn
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • John Tarver
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Wagarville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Biloxi, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Montgomery, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • William Chambers
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Cullman, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Deanne Lockett
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Centreville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Jennifer Lockett
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Centreville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Christy Harris
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Lonnie Haralson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown LaGrange, Georgia
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Tracey Alford
    Additional Info
    • Hometown LaGrange, Georgia
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Alton Barbee
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Hanceville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Hanceville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Chandrabose Vajjasubash
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Tampa, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Beth Dillon
    Additional Info
    • Hometown St. Petersburg, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Randall Peebles
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Flomaton, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Jeffrey Rizzo
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Ozark, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Sylvester Mencer
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Cindy Atkin
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Hurtsboro, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Gladys Hatchett
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Montgomery, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Vivian Storrs
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Decatur, Georgia
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Orson Chresfield
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Decatur, Georgia
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Chalice Howard
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Levon Madison
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Pine Hill, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Colby Heatherly
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Calera, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Janet Henderson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown State Line, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Janaka West
    Additional Info
    • Hometown State Line, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Jerry Phillips
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Goldsboro, North Carolina
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Joy Dean
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Chesapeake, Virginia
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Joe Dorris
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Calera, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Sonya English
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Oxford, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Jason Berry
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Eldridge, Alabama (previously and now in New York)
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Vanessa Mencer
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Dwan Shoemake
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Northport, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Mary Sanford
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Ellisville, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Northport, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Nicole Jordan
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Sheldon Vaughn
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Winfield, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Rhonda Self
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Brilliant, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Pensacola, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Divyank Saini
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Earnestine Johnson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Emmie Jackson
    Additional Info
    • Hometown York, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Birmingham, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown York, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Cullman, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Cullman, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Jerri Whitehead
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Guntersville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Terri Bryant
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Guntersville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Anniston, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Laura Burks
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Huntsville, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Nathan Farmer
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Grenada, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Water Valley, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Kendra Brooks
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Natchez, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Kathryn Brooks
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Florissant, Missouri
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Dianna Etheridge
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Montgomery, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Anonymous
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Montgomery, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • William Harris
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Crawford, Mississippi
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Elizabeth Duke
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Anniston, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Elsie Lowe
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Panama City, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient
  • Richard Lowe
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Tallahassee, Florida
    • Donor/Recipient Donor
  • Elijah Perry
    Additional Info
    • Hometown Smiths, Alabama
    • Donor/Recipient Recipient