DES MOINES, Iowa -- According to the Iowa Donor Network, there are currently 540 people in Iowa waiting for a kidney donation. Some people can wait years, even a decade on the donor list. One West Des Moines woman is doing everything she can to make sure her dad is not on that list, by giving him her own kidney.
"I went to the hospital because I was short of breath, and I didn’t have any idea what was going on at the time," West Des Moines resident Galen Ross said.
In October of 2018, 70-year-old Galen Ross was diagnosed with kidney failure. Doctors said he had a kidney stroke.
"They said 'well, you can do dialysis or hopefully you can find a new one,'" Galen said.
Galen didn’t have to look long.
"I think it was probably within that month that he was still at the hospital that I said I’m in let’s do it," Galen's daughter Theresa Ross said.
With the surgery only days away, Theresa can’t wait to see her dad off dialysis.
"Having your blood taken out every two or three days and filtered and cleaned. It wears you down," Galen said.
"My dad was the guy that would come home from work and say 'look I got 10,000 steps in today.' He was always a go-getter," Theresa said. "So for him to be stopped like this, it just wasn’t fair."
Galen is grateful for his daughter’s support in this life-changing journey.
"I’m really proud that she is going forth with this to help me out, so I can make some time later," Galen said.
"I think it feels like I’m giving my dad his life back," Theresa said.
Galen and Theresa Ross go in for surgery this Monday at 7 a.m. Recovery will take about three weeks for Theresa and around six weeks for Galen.