Skip to main content

'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.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 9.27.07 AM

Couple ending festive lights display after dispute with sheriff over trespassing

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald addressed complaints from over the summer on Facebook Saturday.

st louis co missing person terry - edit

MN man, 60, still missing despite 'extensive search efforts'

Local authorities are now asking for the public's help locating the man.

uncle sven's

Beloved Uncle Sven's Comic Shoppe in St. Paul closes after 39 years

The hallway-sized shop with "a big heart" closed in late November.

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 9.07.03 AM

'Weird Al' Yankovic to perform in 3 Minnesota cities in the summer

The singer will make stops in Duluth, Mankato and Minneapolis.

dual citizen brewing

St. Paul brewery to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test

Staff will also be required to wear masks and test negative for COVID.

snow, snowplow

Winter storm watch issued as Friday storm track wobbles

The latest model runs show the heaviest snow a bit north of where the watch is in place.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

Talbot leads Wild to 7th straight victory

The Wild opened a four-game road trip with a win in Edmonton.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.