I am a 4-time kidney transplant recipient who has been giving back ever since my first transplant. I was born in 1976 with kidney disease and my kidney function was only 10% for the first 10 years of my life. When I was 10 my health declined and it was decided I needed a kidney transplant, so my mother gave me her kidney when I was a little over 11-years-old on August 26, 1987.
My health got much better after transplant and my mom’s kidney lasted a great 7 years. A few months before my mother’s kidney failed completely, my father stepped up and gave me his kidney on October 6, 1994. It was my senior year in high school and I was able to graduate with my class even though I missed 2 months of school after the transplant. Unfortunately, 4 years later, while I was in college, my dad’s kidney failed. I had to leave college and move back home with my parents while I was on dialysis waiting for a new kidney.
After 10 months of dialysis, I received my 3rd kidney from my younger brother on October 7, 1999. It was almost 5 years to the day! (the OR was booked on the 6th). After the 3rd transplant, I was able to go back to college and I graduated with a BS in Communications. After college I did a lot of work with the local transplant community and lived a fairly normal life. Unfortunately again, after 15 years, my kidney failed again! I went back on dialysis thinking I would have to wait 3-5 years on dialysis if I was going to get another kidney at all.
Amazingly, I got the call for a kidney from my angel donor just 13 months later! I received my 4th kidney on Feb 24, 2016. That kidney is doing wonderful to this day.
I have given a lot over the years after been given these amazing gifts, but I wanted to do more after my 4th kidney. I am now traveling across the country on a mobility scooter to raise awareness for organ donors and to register as many donors as I can. I have already scooted 1,515 miles from Miami to Nashville and will be continuing my journey next month to Dallas and then Denver. My website is scooting4donors.com. I will finish my trip in San Fransisco after a total of more than 5,000 miles!