His grandson needed a kidney. And to save him, he gave his kidney to someone else.
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Retired judge Howard Broadman helped his grandson get a kidney in the future — and he didn't even need time travel to do it.

He did have to make an incredibly generous move, though.

Three years ago, he donated one of his kidneys — not to his beloved grandson, but to a total stranger. Yep. You read that right. A stranger.


Image via UCLA Health.

You see, Broadman's grandson is Quinn, a little boy born with only one kidney — one kidney that isn't fully functioning. Broadman may be too old to donate by the time Quinn needs a transplant.

At first, he considered donating to a complete stranger anyway. He'd join the list of living donors fittingly called “altruistic donors” and hope for karma to come back around and help Quinn in the future.  

Instead, he came up with a brilliant idea.

That stranger he donated his kidney to? Her name is Kathy DeGrandis. And her sister (who hadn't previously donated because she wasn't compatible with Kathy), donated to a stranger, whose family donated to someone else.

How does this lead back to Quinn? Well, thanks to his grandfather’s innovative thinking, Quinn gets a voucher for that kidney he might need in the future.

“I didn't know anything about kidney donations or anything like that,” Broadman says. But learning that his grandson's life was on the line got him thinking.

He realized that the supply of donated kidneys doesn't even come close to keeping up with the number of people who need them.

To get a transplant in the future, Quinn would have to join a list that's currently over 100,000 people long, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

It's a disturbing wait, with only about 18,000 transplants taking place every year.

That’s why Broadman brought his simple idea to medical professionals at UCLA. He proposed that he’d donate a kidney to a stranger now, and Quinn would get a voucher for a kidney in the future.

And, in the end, he wouldn’t only save one stranger’s life.

Now, his simple proposal is touching more and more strangers' lives every year.

The UCLA Kidney Voucher Program, in association with the National Kidney Registry, connects patients in a sort of paying-it-forward system that Broadman describes as “a geometric progression of goodness.”

How it works: Someone like Broadman has a kidney to give and a loved one in need, but an obstacle like time stands in the way of a direct donation.

So they donate to a stranger. Then their loved one (like the Lego-loving, soccer-playing, joyful kindergartner named Quinn) gets a voucher to become a high priority recipient when an appropriate match becomes available.

Image via UCLA Health.

The initial response to Broadman’s idea? Medical professionals told him that “nobody's ever wanted to do that before,” he says.

But he was ready to be the first, and a unique exchange program was born.

Since its inception at UCLA, at least 30 hospitals now have this program, and studies show that it's making a real difference.

Right now, only about 6,000 donations a year come from the most effective donors — living donors.

This voucher program is already increasing those numbers. So far, donation chains have led to 68 transplants and 21 vouchers issued to patients in need. People who aren't compatible with their loved ones can donate to help them anyway.

Image via UCLA Health.

“Sometimes you need to break out of your pattern, look at things from a different viewpoint,” Broadman suggests. This program, he says, is his “small gift to the universe.”

He pulls no punches in admitting that donating a kidney is a painful procedure. But he’ll tell you that it's worth it to give a fighting chance to someone — like that adorable youngster Quinn, or your own loved one.

“It's my best legacy. I don't know any gift better,” Broadman says as his voice cracks. “It's pretty powerful.”

Inspired? Learn more about the UCLA Kidney Voucher Program.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

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From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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