'Snow kidney' sculptor finally gets a new kidney


After adorning his yard with kidney snow sculptures for two years in search of a new kidney, Cottage Grove resident Jim Gorbunow finally has one.

Gorbunow, who has Type 1 diabetes, has been in need of a kidney transplant for nearly two years, but hasn't been able to find a matching donor, until now.

The University of Minnesota called Gorbunow Saturday saying a kidney was available. The organ came from a 20-year-old Chicago man who died of heart failure, according to FOX 9.

Gorbunow underwent the kidney transplant surgery Saturday evening, and he is now recovering, according to updates posted on his Facebook page.

Because of complications from diabetes, Gorbunow is on his fourth organ transplant.

Last winter, Gorbunow got creative in searching for a donor and built his first snow kidney named Kevin. The story garnered interest around the country with hundreds of donors offering their kidney, but no matches were found.

But Gorbunow was persistent. He built a plywood kidney last summer, then built another, larger snow kidney earlier this month.

Now in place of the snow kidney in his yard is a sign that reads, "Jim got his kidney!"

He tells FOX 9 he hopes to raises awareness of the need for organ donations, and plans to continue building the snow kidney for years to come to help others get a life-saving transplant.

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