Joseph Pinkowski, 46 – Recipient
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Received from Wendell Daniels
Yolanda Pinkowski, 48 – Donor
Walter Reed Army Medica Center
Donated to Lobsang Chophel
Yolanda has a strong commitment to family, which includes two daughters, her 21 siblings and most of all her husband, Joseph. She is participating in the kidney exchange to help a stranger and her husband of 26 years.
The devoted couple does everything together—shopping, golfing, even riding motorcycles. As Joseph’s kidneys became weaker, the activity-filled days became less frequent. “I miss him. Now, I’m doing a lot of stuff on my own,” said Yolanda.
Diagnosed with renal insufficiency in 1996, Joseph, a retired United States Marine staff noncommissioned officer, faced a life of dialysis and waiting for a kidney to become available. When his kidney function dropped to 20 percent almost 2 years ago, the devoted couple spent three days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to learn more about the options available to them. One of these options was kidney transplantation. Unfortunately, Yolanda was not a suitable donor partly because she herself faced health issues. Slightly overweight with borderline diabetes, she made some serious lifestyle changes in the hopes that she would be able to donate a kidney. For seven months she exercised, sought nutritional counseling, and changed her eating habits all in the hope of qualifying as a match for Joseph. She was not but her kidney is a life-changing match for someone else.
Joseph will get his new kidney and a new opportunity to return to a life doing the activities that he and his wife enjoy together.