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A few years ago, a close friend of mine broke down in tears in a work meeting as she announced she was finally being placed on the donor list. Kathryn had been silently suffering kidney disease for years and the meds, therapies and diet modifications were no longer working. She is a strong old nurse who just trudges through to take care of everyone around her. She was a NICU nurse for over 20 years, caring for countless premies and teaching countless nurses. She is a mother of two honorable sons who serve our great country and she is a grandmother to three gorgeous little girls who absolutely adore their gramma. She is a daughter, a granddaughter herself, a friend, a coworker, a mentor, an animal lover… Kathryn reminded me of every strong women in my life but she was only able to be part of that person due to her illness. The world just didn’t seem fair.
And that is when my part of the journey began. Turns out you only need one kidney to live and I had an extra! After long counseling session with the transplant team, I underwent extensive testing and was granted a clean bill of health- clean enough to give away half of a vital organ system. In all honesty, it was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. I knew without a doubt from the moment Kathryn announced needing a transplant that I was on deck. I knew throughout counseling and testing and every day in between that this was gonna be a game-changer for me. How very blessed I felt to have the opportunity to help such an amazing person get back to her full amazing self!!!
On December 14th, 2017 Kathryn and I and our close family waited in a pre-op holding area to head off to our side-by-side operating rooms. I remember feeling just numb with happiness and excitement and just so very blessed for the moment with her and our families, knowing life for both of us was about to get even better.
Kathryn and I are both doing amazing and to this day I still feel simply blessed… in addition to healthier than ever before! Being a living donor has changed my life and many people around me, but I am most happy to say Kathryn is the best she has been in many years and her granddaughters can’t get enough!
Proceeds from this race go directly back into the community to assist with donation education to the 3.8 million people in TransLife’s 10-county service area as well as support additional donation and transplantation initiatives.
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