Market design is full of both frustration and satisfaction. Kidney exchange provides an unusual amount of each. Sometimes the satisfactions come in unexpected ways. Below is an email I received yesterday, whose author gave me permission to share it here, along with the photo.
"Dear Dr. Roth,
I want to thank you for your role in establishing the New England Program for Kidney Exchange. On July 8 my husband Bryan, in a 3-way swap with donor/ recipient pairs at Hopkins, RIH/ Brown and Dartmouth, received his new kidney after years of failing health. He is already feeling remarkably better, and his new kidney is functioning well.
Here is a photo of our 3-year-old, Lincoln, and 3-month-old, Haven, thanking Bryan's brother for donating his kidney to a stranger at Hopkins so Bryan could receive one from Dartmouth. I can imagine that theoretical academic work can lack a human face at times, so I wanted to assure you that your work is truly changing lives. I can't thank you enough for giving my boys their Daddy back.
Update: Ms. Silberman writes
"hi Dr Roth,