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KROQ's Bean to Donate a Kidney to Longtime Station Employee

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If you've ever listened to KROQ's "Kevin & Bean" show you know that the duo indulge regularly in good-natured ribbing and humorous morning-shift banter, but today one half of the longtime radio twosome revealed something serious: he's about to surrender one half of an internal organ that comes in a pair. Bean is donating a kidney to longtime station employee Scott Mason.Bean (real name: Gene Baxter) posted to the KROQ site this morning about the upcoming surgery. He describes how dire the situation is for Mason, who has held several posts at the station over several years, including DJ, programmer, and, recently, head of engineering:

Scott has had medical issues for much of his adult life, including his kidneys failing, and that led him to have a transplant from a cadaver back in 1999. Well, now that one has failed too and Scott is back on dialysis for many hours a week. The kidney processes waste out of the blood and without one your body is being poisoned all the time. The dialysis helps but is a temporary solution. You only get off the machine if you get a new kidney or you die.

The morning show host got a sense of how ill Mason was when he saw him in the spring; Bean lives in the Seattle area and does the show from a home studio, and Mason makes an annual trip to do equipment maintenance and upgrades.

"[Mason] explained his situation and that he was about six years out on the waiting list for a new kidney," writes Bean, adding: "That was inconceivable to me, to imagine that all over America there are people like Scott, who are very sick and might die, waiting for organs at the same time that literally of thousands of them are being buried every year."

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So later this month, Bean will be checking in to Cedars-Sinai to be a live kidney donor. He says the choice for him was "a no-brainer," and explains that he expects a bit of discomfort but minimal disruption to his life.

Bean discusses how things will work for him--and Mason--with their newly distributed kidneys:

One of the things I’ve learned is that we have two kidneys and when one is removed the other one steps up and works harder so that instead of the expected 50% remaining function I should have about 80%. Scott will go from nearly 0% to that same 80% and that will improve his quality of life dramatically.

He also hopes what he's doing in the public sphere will inspire others to give--from blood to bone marrow to organs.