When I was counting the months until my kidney donation back in early 2017 there was one thing that really bothered me. I couldn’t find examples of other donor athletes.
I was an athlete and had been for 20+ years. Running had been a constant in my life since long before I could drive a car, and I knew there was a possibility with my kidney donation that I may not ever be the same after in terms of my endurance.
I accepted that possibility but was borderline desperate to find examples of other athletes that donated and could still get back to their normal athletic life post-donation.
I found two things. A woman who gave a Ted Talk that had run a marathon post donation, and a guy on a mentoring website that said he ran a marathon once post surgery… but he never got back to me. That’s all I had to go on.
I filed this frustration away in the back of my head and proceeded with my donation. May 23, 2017, I donated a kidney to a stranger, kicking off a national donor chain where four people got new kidneys, and a shot at new lives.
Now more than two years later I am back to running my old mileage and have two successful ultras under my belt (I even took home hardware at each one!). I want to share not just my journey with being a kidney donor athlete, but other people’s as well.
I knew sharing these stories would be an important part of my journey. I have had quite a few potential donors reach out to me through Instagram thanking me for sharing my donation journey, specifically around being an athlete and how I’ve been able to get back to my pre-donation activity level.
If you are a kidney donor athlete and would like to share your story, please check out the Share Your Story tab of this website.
We have featured nearly 50 donors so far and also have a mentoring program available! There are mentors in 46 states and 6 countries outside of the US that are happy to be a friend to anyone going through the donation process. We can match you based on location, athletic discipline, and even transplant hospital!