Pair of judges celebrate one-year anniversary of kidney transplant

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 23:24:40-04

A pair of local judges celebrated a wonderful anniversary Thursday. Last year one of those judges donated a kidney to the other.

Nothing short of a celebration took place Thursday night at Water Street’s Wherehouse Night Club. The people at the center of the celebration wore bold t-shirts. JoAnn Eiring’s shirt had the word “DONOR” on it in large, block letters. Derek Mosley’s shirt had the word “RECIPIENT” emblazoned on it in the same bold font.

Mosley and Eiring are self-described best friends. They are both judges and their friendship extends well beyond the bench. They and their families spend time together and they have long enjoyed each other’s company.

Exactly one year ago, that friendship reached a new level when Eiring donated one of her kidneys to Mosley. It has been nearly three years since Mosley was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. What followed was a nightly ritual of being hooked to a dialysis machine for a 10-hour stretch.

“At seven o’clock I had to be hooked up to the machine,” Mosley said with a knowing smile. “I’m hooked up until six in the morning. So, I couldn’t do anything after seven o’clock. So that means no Brewer games, no Bucks games, no night football games, nothing. I can do all of that now!”

Mosley benefited from having a living friend who was a perfect match, but both Mosley and Eiring want us all to be willing to donate after we are gone. At the Wherehouse Thursday evening, there was an opportunity to have one’s blood type checked and register as an organ donor. Organ donors can easily be identified by the orange dot on their Wisconsin driver’s license.

“If you don’t have that orange dot on your license, put that orange dot on your license,” Eiring said firmly. “There’s no reason to hoard those organs after you’re gone.”

As for making a donation while still living, Eiring was just as clear.

“Donating a kidney was way easier than having a baby,” she said with a laugh.

Mosley is thankful for his friend’s generosity and for the shared humanity that trumps whatever differences he and Eiring might have.

“I’m tall,” he said. “She’s short. I’m black. She’s white. She’s little. I’m big. We’re two different types of people, but both of our kidneys were pink.”

No clearer judgment was ever handed down by the bench.