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Bristol Lions hear from Local Kidney Donor 03/05/2015

Posted by DS in activities, meetings, speakers.
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Stan Galvin (left) thanked by Lion John Janell for his presentation.

Stan Galvin (left) thanked by Lion John Janell for his presentation.

Stan Galvin was the speaker at the March 2 meeting of the Bristol Area Lions held at the Hawks House Inn in Walpole.

Galvin was born in Seattle, WA, and grew up in a small town on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. He began college at the University of WA, but that was interrupted when he was drafted.

After serving, he married and started a family, which delayed his return to college. He finally graduated from Western State University in 1975 with a major in Sociology and Psychology.

After two years as a Driver’s License Examiner, Galvin started his 29-year career with the Washington State Dept. of Corrections. First as a Correctional Officer, then a Counselor, a Correctional Unit Supervisor, a Program Manager, a Deputy Superintendent in a major prison and finally a Grievance Program Manager.

Galvin’s wife used to vacation in Maine, so after retirement they moved here in June 2010. A year ago they moved to their present home in Pemaquid.

During his working career Galvin spent an hour commuting each way and with family obligations he had little time for outside activities, although he did participate in blood drives.

After retirement he was looking for more ways to give back and became a blood platelet donor which is a three hour procedure and a commute to Portland, taking most of a day. Then he read about kidney donors and over 100 thousand people in the U.S. needing a kidney.

Galvin decided this was a way to save a life. Last spring he went to Maine Medical Center’s kidney donation program. They took 14 vials of blood and did other testing including a DNA test. Last fall he was accepted as a viable candidate for kidney donation.

He was told of the risks, including high blood pressure, diabetes and even death, yet the two doctors who would be involved had each performed over 300 surgeries with no fatalities. Galvin could have been put on the National Registry, but he wanted to keep his donation in Maine.

Galvin was matched with a 75 year old in Scarborough, whose wife wanted to donate but was not compatible. Instead, her kidney went to a 65 year old in Harpswell. That individual had a friend in Pittston who was not compatible, so that person’s kidney went to a 72 year old in Hermon.

All six surgeries were performed in a 15-hour marathon by two doctors, one working on the donors and the other working on the recipients. About 50 doctors, nurses and other health professionals assisted, resulting in three people with kidney disease receiving healthy kidneys from three donors they had never met.

It all began with a man from Pemaquid who wanted a way to give back.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions will be March 16 for the Lion’s annual “Speak-Out”, a public speaking contest for Lincoln Academy students. That will take place at the Fellowship Hall of the Methodist Church in New Harbor, the home of the Food Pantry.

To make dinner reservations for that meeting please call Herb Watson at 677-6191. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

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