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Stories of hope

Charlotte: Forever grateful for the decision I made

Charlotte Peden

As a child, I was always taught sharing is caring. Well about 8 years ago we got the call that my mom was in stage 4 kidney failure. From that moment on I knew I wanted to help. So the research began on being a living donor.

Fast forward about 6 years, my mom was told that she needed to begin the process of being on the transplant list. As soon as we received that news, I went on the internet to find a transplant center where I could get tested. I got told that I was a candidate to be a living kidney donor.

Unfortunately, we found out that my mom’s kidney was 99.9% sensitive, and it was a 1 in a million kidney she needed, and I was not a match due to the sensitivity.

I knew I still wanted to help someone. I said, “I am a healthy individual, and there are a lot of people needing a kidney.” I decided to go forward with donation and to give my mom a voucher to receive a kidney if one became available and it matched.

I donated my kidney on July 14, 2023. It was the best decision I have ever made, and if I had another kidney to give, I would do it in a heartbeat. On October 4, 2023, we received the call that UW Madison had a kidney and it was a perfect match for my mom. I am able to see how my recipient’s life is impacted and how they are able to get back to what they love. If my mom never needed a transplant, I would never have even thought about giving a kidney, but it really feels amazing knowing that I gave someone their life back and my mom received the kidney too. I am forever grateful for the decision I made. If I had another kidney to give, you bet I would give it. As I was taught as a child that sharing is caring, never in a million years would I have thought it would have gone this far.

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Kidney, Living donor, Stories

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