Community service has always inspired Jason Nothdurft. For 66 years, his grandfather served at his local volunteer fire company, followed by his father, who served 25 years, and Jason, who has served five years. His family has been recognized as the first family in New Jersey to have three generations volunteering in the same department at the same time.
Jason has also volunteered his time during the summer over the last 18 years with the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, where he helps serve some of the poorest counties in the United States.
His passion for helping others reached a new level in 2014 when he saw a post on Facebook from his friend, Steven. Steven’s stepfather, Bill, needed a kidney. Jason immediately reached out to Steven and told him he wanted to be a donor. Bill was diagnosed with late-stage renal failure in 2011 due to high blood pressure. On January 14, 2014, Jason officially became Bill’s kidney donor. Now Jason, who he had known all his life as a friend of his children, was the person who saved his life.
After his kidney surgery, Jason asked his sister to bring his grandparents to the hospital so they could see the positive impact they had on his life.
The reach of Jason’s impact doesn’t stop there. Jason has participated in the Central New Jersey Kidney Walk and the Southern Delaware Kidney Walk. In 2016, he joined the Nation Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Advocacy Committee.
Jason graduated from Rowan University in New Jersey in 2012. This year, he became involved with the University’s Organ Donor Day, an event that promoted organ donation and registered donors on-site. Jason has been an advocate for organ donation since his surgery. He was even able to make a real impact on educating his network on kidney donation.
“One of the coolest things I experience is when someone comes up to me to tell their personal connection to kidney disease or donation,” Jason said.
Jason has done everything from mentoring donors to offering support for recipients. His generosity has been contagious, as friends and family are now considering being donors.
Are you interested in sharing your story? We’d love to hear from you! Contact sobrien@myAST.org for more information.
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