One donor's story: Dennis Behm

  • Hattiesburg, MS
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2006

During my life I’ve been a jazz bassist, a professional French hornist, a band director, a French horn professor and a husband.  I can’t say how well I did at any of these things, but I am can say I did the best I could.

My wife, Kay, my brothers, my nephews and nieces, my friends and my dogs and cats.

I learned that a very dear friend, Richard Dean, was experiencing kidney failure and was about to have to go on dialysis.  Although I knew very little about live kidney donation, I decided to see if I might be able to donate a kidney to Rich.  It turned out that we were a match and I was able to give him my “spare” kidney.  It was a great success for both of us. I believe our kidney gave Rich five years of quality life.  Sadly he died after suffering a fall at home.  For me, it was one of the easiest yet most rewarding things I’ve done in my lifetime.  At the time of our transplant I was 67 and Rich was 79, making us the oldest donor/recipient up to that time at Hennepin County Medical Center.  We were very lucky to have had the transplant at HCMC.  The care we received and the quality of the surgery was the absolute best.

Dennis Behm