There is a man in Ohio who has my kidney. The left kidney, to be precise, though I suppose I can hardly call it mine any longer. I am what’s known as a nondirected, altruistic, living kidney donor. I don’t know the recipient’s name, nor where he resides. I know nothing of his life story—whether he has children or a spouse, what he does for a living, what religion he practices, how much money he makes, or his ethnic background.

I do know that we are close in age. I know he was 1 of 3 recipients, all under the age of 40, who received a kidney as a result of my good fortune to be healthy enough to initiate a chain of transplants. I know, quite intimately, my hopes for him: that he is safe, healthy, and free of dialysis. It was...

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