Live Donor Stories

Take a look at some of the Live Donor Stories below. Their lives have forever been changed.

For nearly twenty years, Karyn Waxman lived with PKD: Polycystic Kidney Disease

Watch her Kidney Transplant Patient Story to see how her life was changed from a donor.

“My Saint of a Wife took control of many aspects of my health as my PKD progressed.  Prior to this we’d tried to keep my having PKD quiet as I didn’t want to be asked about something for which there is often a consistent negative progression.  I put up a poster at work for a PKD walk – showing normal kidneys and mine from a scan… My wife told friends and family and began to recruit them. 11 people responded to my wife saying they would volunteer to donate. The first 4 who were tested were all adequate matches, the best of which being my wife, but that was not meant to be.  Her kidney function came back abnormal so she could not be considered – thankfully this has since resolved. A friend I’d known since grade school was my next best match.  We were both 50 years old at the time of the transplant.2 months after donating, my donor was hiking the Appalachian Trail with a full pack!  Neither of us were outstanding physical specimens even in our prime!I’m now approaching 19 years post transplant.  My donor is doing well, no impacts from donating a kidney to me.  My creatinine is usually .7, once in a while up to .9.  Absolutely incredible!”Don Larson

“Tomorrow is my one year transplant anniversary. My living donor came from an online Zoom writing group that formed during the pandemic. We all got to know each  other when we checked in to write every morning. A year after this started I was placed on the UNOS list and one of those women said “I want to get tested!” Turns out she was a match. The process took almost a year. She lives in New Jersey. I live in Los Angeles. She had her surgery there and they flew her kidney out to me! So I got her kidney before I ever met her. We met six months later at a writing retreat in Albuquerque New Mexico. CBS Sunday Morning came and filmed our meeting in real time! Yes, you can use my story. Without the pandemic we would never have met.?”.   – Kelly H

“I was going to get one from my husband, but at the last minute my antibodies showed up and he couldn’t donate to me.  Within a week an altruistic donor was found for me, and my husband donated altruistically to someone else.  All told, we became part of a 4-way swap;  4 who needed a kidney and 4 who were willing to donate.  I am 17 months post and doing well. ????”Julie C.