Hujambo! My name is Sarah and I am a proud member of Team Jabali, one of two teams planning to summit Kilimanjaro on World Kidney Day for KDA’s One Kidney Climb 2022. Jabali means “strong like a rock” and I can’t wait to show the world how strong we can be with one kidney.
I was inspired to donate my kidney when I learned that the father of an elementary school classmate had been on dialysis for six years and needed a transplant. Our transplant was successful on February 6, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. I am also a founding member of the Kidney Donor Athletes Board of Directors.
The One Kidney Climb trip was the brainchild of myself and fellow team member Shawna Sampson, hatched during a virtual Yahtzee tournament happy hour. Shawna lamented that a possible trip to Kilimanjaro was canceled due to COVID-19 and I commented that Kilimanjaro was my idea for celebrating my 20th anniversary. We had the idea that if a group of donors climbed Kilimanjaro together, it would raise awareness for living donation. Two years later it is becoming a reality!
All the training hikes have given me a new appreciation for the beautiful place I live – San Luis Obispo, California. I love wearing my KDA gear on the trails and answering questions about why I have a kidney on my shirt or hat!
When I’m not climbing mountains, I work as a student affairs professional and own my own business teaching Wilderness First Aid and CPR. I also volunteer with our local Search & Rescue unit and can’t wait to start training for my first Ironman in October 2022. I am so excited that my husband, Ben, will be accompanying our team on the climb (I promise I’ll come up with something else to celebrate our 20th anniversary!). We have a 9-year-old daughter, Mackenzie; our dog, Chewbacca; and two cats, Tashi and Dorje.
More information about why I’m climbing Kilimanjaro and my kidney journey: San Luis Obispo kidney donor prepares to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, Fresno State News, KFSN News, Fresno ABC Affiliate.