Cottage Grove man builds another kidney in the snow to raise awareness


The Minnesotan man who built a kidney out of snow in hopes of finding a donor is back at it.

Jim Gorbunow, whose efforts to find a kidney donor made headlines nationwide, is continuing to raise awareness for kidney disease and organ donations by making another sculpture, according to the Jim Gorbunow Transplant Page on Facebook.

Gorbunow, who is now a spokesperson for The National Kidney Foundation, began sculpting snow for his new sculpture at 10 p.m. Friday, finishing around 2 a.m. Saturday, KARE 11 reports.

His 2014 sculpture, which featured a kidney with a cheery smile, got him some donor offers, and last March he finally got his new kidney.

As of October 2015, there were 122,403 people waiting for organ transplants in the United States – of those, 101,189 are in need of kidney transplants, The National Kidney Foundation says.

On average, over 3,000 people are added to the kidney transplant waiting list every month, and patients typically spend more than three years on the transplant list before they get a new kidney, the foundation notes. However, roughly 12 people die every day while waiting for a kidney transplant.

In 2014, there were 17,105 kidney transplants in the United States – 11,570 came from deceased donors, while 5,535 came from living donors, the foundation says.

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