Arkansas KA Seeks Kidney Donor
Chris Plate (Alpha Omicron – Arkansas ’13) is an Honors College Fellow majoring in electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas. When Chris was four-years-old, he was diagnosed with a disease that, over time, has developed into a condition known as “focal segmental glomeruloscleroisis,” an autoimmune disease that causes scarring on the kidneys. After his kidneys failed him, Chris received a kidney transplant from his father during his first semester at Arkansas, but within nine months, that kidney failed as well.
Last summer, Chris traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to be evaluated for a second transplant.
“Mayo has a paired donation option, which could help me because I am not a match with 98 percent of the population due to my previous transplant and several blood transfusions I’ve received,” said Plate.
This spring, after deciding that he did not want continue dialysis forever and the uncertainty of his future without a new kidney weighing on him, Chris decided to ask his Facebook friends if anyone would be willing to donate a kidney. Along with the help of a reporter in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, his story and Facebook page took off with over 30,000 shares and 3,000 followers, respectively.
Despite his condition and spending countless days in the hospital every year, Chris tries to maintain a normal life on campus. He was a re-founding father of the Alpha Omicron chapter of Kappa Alpha Order and the president of Eta Kappa Nu, the electrical engineering honor society. Chris is also working on his honors thesis of designing a maximum power point tracker that could improve the efficiency of solar-powered systems.
After graduation this spring, Chris plans to work for Toth and Associates in Springfield and marry his fiancée, Rachel Reynolds.
If you are interested in kidney donation, in general or to Chris, you can find more information from the Mayo Clinic.