How To Connect People For Good
"When we started our nonprofit in 2007, most kidney transplant centers used loops, which involve a simple kidney swap between two or more pairs of people. The alternative, kidney chains, requires a Good Samaritan to donate to a stranger, enabling a chain of transplants to occur.
"Since I come from a software background, our innovation was to create an algorithm that combined loops and chains to maximize the number of exchanges. After five years and seven incarnations, our latest algorithm, created with Harvard and MIT professors, found up to 167% more matches than the previous one.
"For the first three years, my wife and I ran the National Kidney Registry without financial support from transplant centers, with no revenue model in sight. Today, we facilitate more paired exchange kidney transplants than any organization in the world. But throughout that time, finding Good Samaritan donors was never a problem. We simply helped them fulfill their desires.”
Founds the National Kidney Registry
Daughter received her new kidney from her 23-year-old cousin
Helps design the SMELAC algorithm, which is 167% more effective in facilitating a kidney exchange than the previous algorithm
Joins the United States Marine Corps at age 17
Receives MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
Leads a $5 million dollar acquisition and turnaround of a digital printing company; after 11 years, sold it for $1.1 billion
Daughter, at age 10, is diagnosed with kidney failure
A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.