The world was just opening its doors to me as a college senior when sudden, severe kidney disease unexpectedly shut them. Because my donor family chose organ donation those doors reopened, and I have fully embraced life…enjoyed a meaningful career, became a mom to my dear son, Nicholas, and am blessed to be married to my high school sweetheart, Jerry.
After more than two decades my transplant failed, and I began the scary wait for another kidney. This time more than five years passed without a suitable donor until my childhood friend, Maureen offered to be tested…and she matched. December 1st marks the 1st anniversary of our living donor surgeries. I have now experienced the Gift of Life from both living and deceased donors and each has been a humbling experience.
I will never be able to show my endless gratitude to my first donor family. I only know that my donor was a 20-year-old boy killed in a car accident. I think of him as someone’s beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, friend, sweetheart who chose to help a stranger. As for Maureen, I am privileged to be able to call her anytime to thank her. I am living my life to help others as a small way of repaying those who gave life back to me.