Whitney Now, Kidney Then: Ten Years ago in Ace
Whitney Pannell’s recent Tik Tok Ace story was not Whitney Pannell’s first appearance on an Ace cover.
Ten years ago in Ace, in 2012, Whitney made a direct plea to the Ace readers, penning an Ace cover story, in search of a kidney donor for her mother. She had fully intended to donate her own kidney, but after discovering she was a match, she was ruled out as a donor due to a benign tumor, which was removed on January 5, 2012. Leaving
her mother still in need of a Type A or Type O kidney donor.
On February 9, 2012, ten years ago, Whitney reported eloquently on her own rocky recovery in a followup article, but she shared an amazing story too:
“Thanks to the article I wrote in Ace last month, we have had two total strangers come forward and offer to donate to her. These were just people who had made a life decision to become an organ donor. They read the article and realized that there was someone here locally in need. We were truly touched and are praying that one of them will be a match for my mother.”
We reported at the time, “Although two readers have come forward — so far — as prospective kidney donors for Whitney’s mother, the testing process is long and exhaustive. For more info about Kentucky’s organ donor registry, go to donatelifeky.org and www.kyorgandonor.org.”
In a 33-year relationship with the best readers in town, it was never more apparent how special those readers are than the time two perfect strangers came forward to offer to donate a kidney — inspired by a story about a woman they’d never met.
Nancy Wiggins: 1936-2016
Whitney Pannell’s mother lived four more years after the Kidney, Now! cover story was published. Her obituary read,
“Nancy Renegar Wiggins, aka ‘Yummy’, age 80, died on September 21, 2016 as a result of a miscalculation while sky-diving over the great pyramids in Egypt.
Nancy was the widow of Stanley Robb Wiggins, a local Realtor who passed away in 1996.
She is survived by her only daughter, Whitney Wiggins Pannell, her son-in-law Rick Pannell, and two grandchildren Lucy Boone Pannell and William Parker Pannell, all from Lexington.
She attended Centre College and the University of Kentucky where she received a Bachelor’s degree in English and Art. Her Masters work was done at the University of Kentucky in library science. After teaching for 12 years in Woodford County, she retired to become a full-time housewife and mother.
As a devoted Christian believes, she asked that her epitaph should read ‘I’ll be seeing you.’”
Her funeral service was held Thursday, September 29, 2016.