Local News

WRAL Director/Producer Donates Kidney To Mother

Posted February 15, 2005 6:52 a.m. EST

— Most Valentine's Day gifts are flowers, candy and a card. But none of those gifts of love can top the gift of life. That's what one family is now celebrating after a successful kidney transplant -- from son to mother.

Spencer Jenkins, who many might recognize from his brief brush with fame on "The Price is Right" or as 'Football Friday'-man on WRAL, is normally a behind-the-scenes director/producer for WRAL's early-morning newscasts. He has been away from work for a week to give one of his kidneys to his mother, Mary Jenkins.

"I feel wonderful," said Spencer Jenkins.

Spencer and his brother, Terrence, both qualified as suitable donors, but Spencer wanted to be the one.

"Well, my thought was I'm about to do something that I know will eventually save my mom's life," Spencer said.

At Duke University Medical Center, half of all kidney transplants come from living donors. Without a close match from a living donor, kidney patients could wait years for a deceased donor.

The most likely match is from a donor of the same race. But blacks are among the least likely to sign an organ donor card.

"Because I think a lot of people are afraid and thinking something may happen to them if they do that," Mary Jenkins said.

Spencer Jenkins encourages others to sign up.

"If you love a person -- be it your brother or sister, your mom or dad or even a friend -- you would do this," he said.

You can sign up as an organ donor when you renew your driver's license or simply make your wishes known to close family members.