Skip to Content

Record number of Idahoans become organ donors

2016 was a record-breaking year in Idaho when it comes to people choosing life. According to the Idaho Transportation Department 64% of Idahoans chose to be organ donors, which exceeds the national average of 51%. The number of people deciding to become organ donors also helped with the number of organs transplanted- 169, compared to 113 in 2015. 800 people are currently on the waiting list in Idaho.

In 1984, and Idaho Falls woman was among those people who needed a transplant. Madeleine Koeppen was diagnosed with an auto-immune-related hepatitis. After a surgical liver biopsy medical personnel at the University of Utah discovered a mass cirrhosis of her liver “they said “you’re going to need a transplant” and that was the last thing on our minds,” said Don Koeppen, Madeleine’s husband.

By 1986, things started to look up for Madeleine, there was a chance to get a transplant at the University of Nebraska-Omaha hospital. Many people have to travel to get transplants done, and in 2017 there are still no places to get transplants in the gem state. Often times people who need them travel to Utah, Oregon, or even Colorado.

“I can get very emotional about it because I see what it’s done for our family,” said Madeleine. 31 years later, she is still living and couldn’t be more grateful “I got to spend 31 more years with the love of my life, I got to see my son graduate high school, graduate college, get married, and get a job and I’m hoping to dance at grand daughter’s wedding; these are all things I would not have had a chance to see if not for somebody giving that to me,” said Koeppen.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Team


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content