New Cape Coral ordinance allows organ donors to get paid time off

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

It’s one thing to donate money, but it’s another to donate life.

A new ordinance in Cape Coral is allowing employees who donate or receive organs or bone marrow to get an extra four weeks of paid time off.

The Cape Coral city council voted unanimously on the ordinance, and Carol Kinney, a city employee, just recovered from kidney failure for the second time in her life, all thanks to a family donation.

Janet and Carol, two sisters, have always seemed to be bonded for life.

Carol is a second time kidney donor, first getting her mother’s kidney, which gave out almost a year ago, which was almost the same time her mother passed away at 91 years old.

Just over a week ago, she received her sister Janet’s kidney, who had been testing to donate before carol even knew she would be a potential match.

“I’m overwhelmed by all the well wishes is that I’ve received from everyone about this because I don’t think I do anything, you know that a family member, you know, wouldn’t do in such a situation everything. I’m just glad I lucky enough that I was healthy enough to be able to assist in this manner,” Janet said.

This is to be thankful for, as well as the recent ordinance passed by Cape Coral city council.

“Double win a double rally, a double hurray,” Carol said. “Just a double blessing. Godsend. The city is, is amazing. The city, I never would have dreamed that I live in such a wonderful, beautiful, helpful type of city that is there for us.”

The ordinance allows an extra 40 hours of paid leave for city employees who donate or receive bone marrow and 160 hours for organs.

“Here I was working full time and going to dialysis full time,” Carol said. “So that was 22 hours total, and then I had two hours to eat dinner and get ready for bed.”

Daniel Seybert, Carol’s partner, was glad the exchange went well.

“Thank god, like I said, that Janet was healthy enough to give her sister a kidney,” Seybert said. “And the fact that it was the surgery was just, we were setting in the myrtle in the waiting rooms and it was like, had a schedule, had a schedule. Everything’s good and, you know, everything that day was just, you couldn’t after a better day, it was perfect.”

Carol said the doctor told her Janet’s kidney is healthier than Carol’s first kidney, and they are hopeful not only for themselves, but for others who may be going through the transplant process.

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