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 a year later I am back to running my old mileage and am about to toe the line of a 50 mile trail race for the first time with one kidney. 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 contact me (through the Contact portion of this site or my Instagram DM’s). I’d be happy to have you guest blog, or I can talk with you and write something up. I’d even be happy to post video content of yours if that’s a more comfortable way for you to share your story.
After I get a fair amount of donors featured on this site, my phase 2 is to create a mentoring program. I would love for potential donors to be able to have a mentor that is an athlete in their athletic passion. I would have loved to have that, so my gift is to create that for others.