Why living organ donor Brian Flynn donated a kidney and part of his liver to 2 strangers in 2 years

  • 27 Feb - 05 Mar, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Brian Flynn recalls the first time he considered becoming a living organ donor: about five years ago, when he stumbled across a Facebook post from a friend who needed a kidney. "I was on a business trip with a colleague," he says. "But I thought, 'Why don't I see if I'm a match?'" He was – but the friend ended up getting a kidney from her husband. Then a year ago, when Flynn was turning 50, the idea popped back into his head. "I told my wife, 'I'm feeling like I need to do more. I'm healthy – maybe I really should give someone a kidney!'" Flynn has since done just that – along with donating a portion of his liver, saving the lives of two strangers 15 months apart. It was a Facebook post from his daughter's basketball coach that led Flynn to the recipient of his kidney. Greg Dentice, 25, the basketball coach's brother, had been living with kidney failure for more than a decade, and his family and friends were desperately looking for a potential match. Nearly 40 people who saw the post got tested to see if they could help, including Flynn, who didn't even know Dentice at the time. He ended up being a perfect fit. The successful surgery happened in July, 2019. Flynn says during the covid pandemic, he started wondering if there was more he could do to help others. That was when he became a perfect match for a four-year-old boy’s liver donation.