Judge Derek Mosley & Judge JoAnn Eiring
Milwaukee Municipal Court Judge
Town of Brookfield Municipal Court Judge
Municipal court judges Derek Mosley and JoAnn Eiring are heroes not just to each other, but also to the thousands of people throughout the country waiting for an organ transplant.
Mosley and Eiring met at a judicial seminar in 2003 and became instant friends. In the years following that first meeting, their friendship grew. Their families became friends; they spent holidays and birthdays together, and ultimately grew to consider each other family.
In September 2014, Mosley was diagnosed with kidney failure.
Mosley’s father and grandmother passed away from kidney failure, so it runs in the family.
For the next two years, Mosley received dialysis for 10 hours every night. He slept on his back and worked during the day, he said.
A transplant was his only option for survival.
He was on the organ transplant list, but was told the wait could be up to six years.
Approximately 122,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. Approximately 101,800 of those people need a kidney.
Mosley’s family and many friends were tested, but nobody was a match.
Despite being almost complete physical opposites – Mosley a large-framed African-American man and Eiring a small-framed Caucasian woman – it was determined Eiring was a match.
On July 20, the kidney transplant took place, saving Mosley’s life.
Dr. Michael Zimmerman, kidney transplant program director at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, performed the surgery.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett named July 20, 2016, “JoAnn Eiring Day” for her selflessness. But it’s the story behind the story that has really impacted both Eiring and Mosley.
At a time when divisiveness and negativity permeate so much of daily life, the two have made it their mission to bring people together and promote the importance of organ donation.
The pair has used its story to raise awareness for organ, tissue and eye donation.
Organs are not matched by ethnicity or gender and a greater diversity of donors can potentially increase access to transplantation for everyone.
Zimmerman said he hoped this case would give hope to others in search of donors.