Glenn's Story

Perfect match

When a Kidney Transplant Is Good for Your Heart 
Glenn Biller’s kidney disease came with a silver lining: It led him to his wife and living donor, Jackie. Transplant surgery at Aurora St. Luke’s was a success for this couple.

"She gave me life. I don't know what better gift there is."

For most of us, getting diagnosed with a chronic disease is one of life’s low points. But not for Glenn Biller.

“I love my polycystic kidneys,” Glenn says. “They got me to where I am today.”

Here’s how it happened. When a hockey accident led to doctors’ discovering that Glenn had polycystic kidney disease, the young athlete had to give up contact sports. He started swimming and eventually earned a college scholarship for the sport. After graduation, he began working for a company where he met Jackie, the woman who would not only become his wife but also give him a lifesaving kidney.

By early 2012 Glenn and Jackie were happily married, but Glenn’s kidneys were failing. When a cyst in one of them burst in November of that year, the couple knew he needed a transplant – and soon.

Glenn turned to Aurora St. Luke’s for help. Realizing his life could be in jeopardy, Glenn’s friends and family started calling Aurora and offering to serve as living donors. But none were a match.

Then Jackie made it past the first tests and blood work. Just before Christmas, they got the best possible gift – news that Jackie was the perfect match.

Surgery at Aurora St. Luke's went well for both husband and wife, and today Glenn is more grateful to Jackie than ever. “I’m lucky to have her,” he says. “She gave me life. I don't know what better gift there is.”

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