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 five years to the day (the OR was booked on the 6th)! After the third 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 three-five 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 fourth 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 fourth 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 Francisco after a total of more than 5,000 miles!