It has been 3.5 years since I donated my kidney to another person for my mom to receive a good match for her.
Although being a kidney donor has become a big part of who I am and something I am very proud of, I can honestly say that as more time passes it feels like a distant memory. Since donating, I have met so many incredible living donors and have spoken with several folks who are considering donating. I have had many people reach out to ask about the recovery process as I have been very open and honest about it being difficult for me. However, over time, I believe that the reason I really felt the recovery process was hard is because of how in tune I am with my body. It is has been so refreshing to read stories from other living kidney donors who are extremely active and athletic. We know the body we live in that is capable of so much so it is difficult when we cannot do the things we were used to doing. However, you can and will be able to!
I have had several injuries from sports and training including sprained ankles, wrist, shoulder, and even a reconstructive knee surgery when I was just out of high school. I learned at an early age how to overcome injuries and surgeries and bounce back. To me, this was no different. Just like my knee surgery, the short term is difficult as your body heals and recovers, but in time you will be back. I truly am so impressed with what the human body is capable of and find such enjoyment in working hard in the recovery process. This was a big reason why I was so confident I could donate one of my kidneys and come out even stronger on the other side. Throughout the last couple of years, I have worked hard to take care of my body through proper nutrition and fitness but also have had to find the balance of not consuming too much protein and getting the adequate rest my body needs.
Today I am training in Boston and coaching college softball. My jobs are very physical so taking care of my body and my one kidney is a high priority for me. Since surgery, I am careful to make sure I drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, eat a clean diet, and monitor my overall protein intake. With the help and guidance of some of my fellow kidney donor athletes, my next goal is to try to bring down my Creatinine level which has been a bit elevated since surgery. Although I do realize that those who hold a great deal of muscle mass will have a higher Creatinine level, I still want to make sure I am protecting my one kidney.
Since surgery, I have competed in a deadlift competition where I deadlifted 315lbs, completed 2 Spartan races at Fenway, 1 virtual Spartan race, ran a 10k race, and competed in a CrossFit competition. I fully intend on continuing to compete in the sport of Fitness, and am excited for what the future holds!