At 80, Denny Behm is an lively bike owner, retired song professor and international traveler who is helping his spouse run an property sale trade.

Now Behm, who taught horn for almost 30 years on the College of Southern Mississippi, is pedaling for a purpose that may save lives.

When he used to be 67, Behm become a dwelling kidney donor after he discovered a chum wanted a transplant. He mentioned the surgical procedure went neatly. He recovered briefly and hasn’t had any side effects within the 13 years he is lived with one kidney.

“After witnessing the sure consequence and having no unfavourable unwanted side effects, I advanced a zeal to inspire others to imagine changing into dwelling donors,” he mentioned. 

He and a number of other others around the nation will probably be driving 300 miles on a go back and forth arranged by means of Behm referred to as YONOK — You Simplest Want One Kidney.

Behm mentioned he knew not anything about dwelling kidney donations till his good friend informed him about them. Richard Dean of Mason Town, Iowa, used to be on a ready record for a kidney. None of his circle of relatives used to be a fit.

When Behm and his spouse, Kaylene, have been riding again from Iowa, they mentioned changing into a donor for his or her good friend.

Kaylene Behm used to be deemed ineligible since she is a most cancers survivor. Denny Behm to start with used to be regarded as too outdated by means of the Minnesota health facility the place the transplant would happen. Undeterred, he checked along with his physician who mentioned he used to be wholesome sufficient to be a donor.

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Denny Behm used to be a fit for his 79-year-old good friend, so he and Dean celebrated with their other halves the night time earlier than the transplant and for a few years after — till a fall ended in Dean’s loss of life.

“It used to be like a celebration,” he mentioned of the transplant. “We had extra a laugh with (the Deans). The transplant grew to become out to be not anything. I have had colds and the flu that made me really feel a complete lot worse than the transplant.

“It used to be probably the most rewarding, maximum pleasurable factor in my lifestyles.”

Now Denny Behm has made some other good friend who wishes a transplant. 

Barry Presley of Atlanta is a Army veteran, husband and father of 2 who has been struggling kidney failure for 5 years, Behm mentioned.

Presley has been on a kidney transplant ready record and undergoes dialysis thrice every week whilst he waits. His spouse, Marshina Presley, donated a kidney to her husband, however the transplant failed inside the first few days, which is a unprecedented prevalence for kidney transplants. Round 97% are operating on the finish of a month and 93% nonetheless operating a yr later, in line with the Nationwide Kidney Basis. 

Dwelling kidney donations no longer handiest save lives, however a brand new kidney too can build up the standard of lifestyles by means of permitting an individual with kidney illness to forgo dialysis.

The Nationwide Kidney Basis says an estimated 37 million adults in the USA — over 1 in 7 other people — have persistent kidney illness, however 90% have no idea they have got it. As well as, 1 in three persons are prone to creating persistent kidney illness.

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Kidney illness in its early levels will also be slowed or stopped via vitamin and workout, way of life adjustments, drugs and treating chance components, the basis says.

However the ones experiencing kidney failure have just about two choices — dialysis or transplantation.

Mayo Sanatorium says about one-third of all kidney transplants carried out within the U.S. are living-donor kidney transplants. The opposite two-thirds contain a kidney from a deceased donor.

Every other little recognized reality is as many as 1 in 500 persons are born with just one kidney — evidence that one is sufficient, Behm mentioned.

Denny Behm desires to honor his past due good friend by means of elevating consciousness of dwelling kidney donations, however he additionally desires to lend a hand discover a dwelling donor for Presley and lift cash to lend a hand pay for the transplant.

The trip will start Monday in Iowa Town, Iowa, and lead to Minneapolis on Sept. 7 at Hennepin County Scientific Heart, the place Dean’s transplant came about.

The Behms are riding to Iowa Town, the place Denny Behm will start the go back and forth with the others. Kaylene Behm will trip forward within the enhance car.

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Amongst the ones becoming a member of Denny Behm in biking for the purpose is Megan Wilkinson, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Existence at Southern Pass over.

She mentioned she selected to take part within the YONOK motorbike trip as a result of she believes within the energy of small sacrifices to have an effect on sure adjustments.

“Denny gave up a kidney,” she mentioned. “I will be able to indisputably pedal a motorbike with him to deliver consideration to this purpose.

“Deciding to trip with Denny and enhance this purpose … used to be a no brainer. I believe giving any quantity of enhance to this purpose is beneficial. Even changing into extra acutely aware of the alternatives for dwelling kidney donations is a advantage of what we are doing.”

Tale continues underneath picture gallery.

Additionally driving with the YONOK excursion are Southern Pass over alums:

  • Patrick Creel of Austin, a professor of horn at Southwestern College who runs a personal for horn scholars from 10-18 years outdated.
  • Mary Wooden of Natchitoches, Louisiana, who’s a personal lesson trainer and works in the back of the scenes as a song reader for the Tabernacle Choir’s declares. 
  • Ginger Kokoszka, referred to as Ms. Lai to the third-graders in her Chinese language elegance, is a classically skilled skilled pianist. She is also a board-certified song therapist who works with underserved aged sufferers in New York Town. Her husband, Daniel Kokooszka, and daughter, Isabelle “Izxy” Kokoszka, additionally will probably be biking with YONOK.
  • No longer a Southern Pass over alum, however becoming a member of the workforce is Honolulu local Anthony Arnone, an affiliate professor within the Faculty of Song on the College of Iowa.

Tips on how to lend a hand

To be told extra about dwelling kidney donations, consult with the Nationwide Kidney Basis at

To give a contribution to Denny Behm’s fundraiser to lend a hand Barry Presley pay for a kidney transplant when one turns into to be had, consult with

To enhance the YONOK trip, consult with

Touch Lici Beveridge at 601-584-3104 or [email protected] Apply her on Twitter @licibev. 

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