Joel Pratt raises
money and awareness for
The nonprofit site
has saved more than
500 lives by matching
living kidney donors with
has also drastically reduced
patients’ wait times.
See the video at
Every life Joel Pratt helps to save keeps the memory
of Lynda, his beloved wife of nearly 25 years, alive.
She died in 1998 after a three-year battle with breast
Pratt was heartbroken—“not being able to cure
her took half my soul out of my body,” he says—but
he was determined not to sit idly by while others suffered the way Lynda had. He decided to join an e;ort
to help ill people who could be saved. That’s why,
for the past nine years, he has dedicated himself
to raising money for MatchingDonors.com, a nonprofit online service based in Canton, Mass., that
matches patients who need a kidney transplant
with living donors. “There are always more patients
waiting for deceased donors than there are available organs, but living donors can literally save lives
by adding to the supply now,” Pratt says.
The median wait time nationally for a kidney
transplant is 3. 3 years, according to the U.S. De-
partment of Health and Human Services. For some
patients, the wait time can exceed five years, de-
pending on factors such as blood type, age, and geo-
graphic location. But because MatchingDonors.com
matches patients with living donors, the wait can
be much shorter: Patients who have found a donor
through the site typically have gotten a transplant
within six months.
So far, MatchingDonors.com has matched donors only with patients who need kidneys. Kidneys
are the most commonly needed organs and the only
ones that many hospitals will accept from living donors.
Stephen Meservey, who is in his 40s and lives
Donating His Heart and
near Boston, got a new lease on life because of
Pratt. The information technology analyst went into
kidney failure because of diabetes and was on di-
alysis. “I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs without get-
ting wiped out,” Meservey says. “It was hard to get
through the work day.”
Then, in 2012, a friend of his met Pratt. As is his
custom, Pratt handed over a MatchingDonors card
and asked if the friend knew anyone who could help
BY GRAHAM WOOD
Joel Pratt J.L. Pratt, REALTORS®, Canton, Mass.