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To be giving spontaneously or the giving away of something that belongs to us, without receiving a reward. This is the real meaning of the word donate,  a word that is almost entirely  “unknown” in a society like ours that seems to be directed more to individualism rather than altruism.  The difficult action ofdonating something for free, especially when it comes to giving someone a part of ourselves to another person who does not know the identity. And in this case, we are not speaking in a broad sense, but just offering a physical part of ourselves.

This is the story of a woman of Pavia, which made this possible in Milan, the first transplant as a “Samaritan”.  But what does it mean? It happens when a person decides to donate one of their kidneys out of generosity-without there being any bond of friendship, kinship or affection with the receiver;  a gesture that is “offered” to the community, not to one specific person but to someone who is in need of it at that specific time. A slap in the face to the selfishness of our society. Whoever offers himself to others will never know the name of those he saved, nor will the latter ever be able to trace their own “Angel”. This is the wonder in the action of free-giving, that transcends even the human relationship and the need for gratification.

 “The Samaritan” donation is so called in reference to the parable of the Gospel of Luke, which tells of a man who on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho was assailed by robbers and then abandoned, half dead,  on the roadside. Ignored by all passers, he was then rescued by an inhabitant of Samaria, the only one to be generous and interested in the fate of another human being.

This kind of surgical practice is allowed in Spain, United Kingdom, Holland and Usa, as well as in Italy. After the donor has given his willingness to donate , and on receiving the authorisation from the national Transplant Centre,  will activate the procedures for the  “cross over”. Several couples from around the country, for whom the transplant is impossible due to immunological incompatibility, can be inserted into a circuit with the aim of finding a couple for the exchange. So the donor of the first couple will give their body to the recipient of the second pair, while the second pair will donate to the recipient of the first.

The generosity of the  woman of Pavia, so giving rise to a series of “chain” transplants, that between 7th and 9th April in Italy, 6 were carried out in Pisa, Siena and Milan,  all thanks to the ‘Samaritan’ donations. In our country, this practice has been active since 2010,  however, the rules to follow are very strict. First of all, the donor must be idoneous both physically and psychologically  and will need to udergo thorough tests. In addition, there is a register to subscribe to donate and which is not accessible to everyone.

Only in the last year in Italy, there has been a record:  2,976 transplants were performed, more than 135 in 2013, i.e. as much as 70%.  With an increase in donors resulting idoneous for donations, 1381 as compared to  1318 in the previous year,  at the same time,  with an increase of donors who have effectively been ‘used’: 1172 in 2014 as compared to 1102 in 2013.

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