All in the Family: Man a perfect match to donate kidney to father-in-law


Posted on August 14, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 5:54 PM

Sally-Ann Roberts / Eyewitness News
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METAIRIE, La. – Sixty-two-year-old Ken Roig has had the same routine for the past year.

After a full day’s work, he returns to his Metairie home where his wife Pat hooks him up to a dialysis machine.

While waiting for a kidney transplant, he spends 11 ½ hours a night, every night, on dialysis.

“There is that moment of despair,” he said. “God, I’m going to be doing this for the rest of my life. That’s the first thing that hit my mind. How long can I do this?”

Fortunately, he won’t have to handle that much longer because he has found a hero – Alex McLean.

Although separated by distance (Alex, a CPA, lives in South Carolina), theirs is a close relationship. Next month Alex will donate one of his kidneys to his father-in-law.

“It’s rare that somebody is provided an opportunity to totally change someone’s life,” he said.

Ken and Pat remember the moment Alex called with the news.

“They’re talking and all of a sudden he says, ‘Oh, by the way, I’m a match and we’re going to have a kidney transplant,’” recalled Pat. “We couldn’t even talk. I mean, we were crying.”

Ken believes it was divine intervention since no one in the family matched his blood type, but Alex, who married their daughter Kelly two years ago is a perfect match. Ken was moved beyond words.

“I think we have been very blessed to have Alex come into my life,” he said.

The next time Alex and Ken are together will be Sept. 10, when son-in-law will give his father-in-law the gift of life.

To follow their journey as Ken prepares for the transplant at Ochsner Hospital, visit their web site

You can also get more information on becoming a donor on our Perfect Match page, supporting Robin and Sally-Ann Roberts.