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'Who Lives?' to Open at Pico Playhouse on World Kidney Day This Thursday

Play To Feature Actor Who Received Kidney from KABC-TV Anchor Phillip Palmer

LOS ANGELES, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A play based on the 1960's anonymous citizens committee who determined the life-or-death fate of kidney patients applying for dialysis will open on World Kidney Day this Thursday, March 12.

Produced by Lori Hartwell and the Renal Support Network (RSN), Who Lives? will feature transplant recipients R. Martin Klein and Dale Wade Davis, who received a kidney from KABC-TV anchor Phillip Palmer.

Davis received a kidney from Palmer on March 13, 2007. The two met at KABC in 1998, and quickly became running buddies. "He's been there for me when I've had some hard times; he's my buddy," Palmer said. "I couldn't let him suffer when I had two healthy kidneys." RSN will celebrate Davis' second "kidney birthday" at a post-performance party following Friday's show.

Who Lives?, is Davis' first acting gig since his transplant. "I am very happy that my story will help people," he said. "I am working closely with RSN to change as many lives as possible."

The audience is invited to post-matinee talkbacks inspired by the ethical dilemmas presented in the play. Bonnie Markuson, a renal patient chosen as a teen by the actual 1960's committee, will be featured on Sunday, March 15th.

Who Lives? is fictitious journey of Gabriel Hornstein, who faces death due to end-stage renal disease, and his struggle to overcome a system of determining who lives, and who dies, in order to save his own life. What he uncovers in the process is an imperfect system ridden with decision-making challenges that are relatable in all aspects of modern society.

"This committee represented the birth of modern medical ethics," said Hartwell, Founder and President of RSN, one of the leading patient-run kidney organizations in America. A triple-transplant recipient herself, she says, "During the past four decades, I have witnessed incredible advancements in the treatment of patients with kidney disease. I will be forever grateful for all of the people who worked tirelessly to preserve my life and the lives of the millions of others who have lived with this disease."

One in seven adults in the United States has kidney disease and many do not even know it. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of the need for dialysis or transplants. RSN intends for the play to increase public awareness of the disease and the need for organ donation. Currently, over 100,000 people are on the waiting list.

Who Lives? will be performed at the Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles. It runs March 12th through March 29th. Performances will be held Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact the Renal Support Network at 866-903-1728.

SOURCE Renal Support Network
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