Desert Financial Credit Union creates campaign to save employee’s life

“Kidney for Kvam” movement attracts attention of more than 100 applicants for potential organ donation

PHOENIX, AZ (June 1, 2018) — Desert Financial Credit Union, Arizona’s largest nonprofit financial institution, is known for benevolent outreach and generosity within the community and today, is asking for help for one of its own. Jason Kvam, an employee of Desert Financial for 23 years, is suffering from severe kidney failure and Desert Financial is pulling out all the stops to ensure he finds one.

At just 26 years old, Jason experienced complete renal failure before receiving a new kidney from his sister Michelle in 2003. With a new lease on life and his goals refreshed, Jason went on to earn his MBA from Arizona State University, and then onto marry the love of his life, Shanna. In a bittersweet twist of fate, Jason learned that his new kidney was failing on the same day he and his wife received the incredible news they were about to become parents for the first time.

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions that day,” says Shanna Kvam. “When we met, he told me that one day his kidney could fail, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.”

Desert Financial recently learned about the severity of Jason’s condition and created a website to help him find the perfect match. The company has also created social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter geared towards spreading the news about Jason’s illness and his need for a matching Type O donor.

“We felt compelled to do something to help,” said Cathy Graham, chief marketing officer at Desert Financial. “Jason is such a valued employee who has been with us for more than two decades. There’s no way we could just look the other way and not offer our assistance in the search for a life-saving donor.”

The credit union wants the public to understand that there are no out-of-pocket costs associated with the testing or surgery involved to become a living donor, as the recipient’s insurance company covers the medical bills from beginning to end, and the donor isn’t financially responsible for anything.

“We’re hoping for a miracle,” said Graham. “But, miracles happen every day when people take a leap to do something great.”

So far, more than 100 amazingly generous people have signed up to be tested to see if they’re a match for Jason, however, a match hasn’t been identified at this time. According to the National Kidney Registry website, “ One problem with direct donation is that direct donors are often incompatible or poorly compatible with their intended recipients – this means they are not the right blood type or do not pass a cross match test with the intended recipient.”

For more information about Jason’s story or to help in his search for a new kidney, visit

For more information on living kidney donation, please visit:

About Desert Financial Credit Union

Celebrating 85 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state's most trusted local credit union with over $8 billion in assets, 400,000+ members and 48 branches. Membership eligibility is open across Arizona with contactless solutions making it easy to click, call or come in. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2023, members received $16 million in dividends via the Member Giveback Bonus, and the credit union became the official retail banking partner of Arizona State University®. Federally insured by NCUA. Learn more at


Keller Perry
Public Relations Specialist 

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