meet the

Board of directors

Kidney Donors dedicated to promoting the mission and values of kidney donor athletes.

Natalie Nuce

KDA President pro tem

 

I took a step of faith in 2018 to put my name in the hat to be tested as a potential donor for a friend’s daughter. After nearly a year and a half of testing and waiting, I was determined a perfect compatible match for the recipient and donated my kidney on July 16th, 2020 (right in the middle of Covid)! The choice I made opened up a whole new world of understanding related to living donation but also a community that would become near and dear to my heart. A super active person in my 50s, it was important to me that I come back to full health and capacity after my donation, and I did! You can usually find me outside either hiking or walking with my dog, paddleboarding, sailing or cruising the lake in my boat. I love to camp, bike ride and play competitive tennis in the Atlanta area. A nonprofit professional working for Habitat for Humanity, I am thrilled to get to contribute skills and expertise to the KDA board and community.

Natalie Nuce Kidney Donor Athlete Board

Shawna Sampson

KDA Vice President pro tem

 

I am a proud Montana native, love my dogs Homer and George, enjoy running and fitness, and am always daydreaming of adventures to come. My one kidney journey started June 26, 2013, when I donated to my cousin Sammi at the Mayo Clinic. I’m a social worker and have nearly 20 years’ experience working in non-profits, including Board development. I’m excited to bring that experience to KDA and help raise awareness about kidney donation and this inspiring community!

Shawna Sampson Kidney Donor Athlete Board

Steve Wilson

KDA Treasurer pro tem

 

I am a 53-year-old Financial Coach from Katonah, NY. My journey to becoming a non-directed kidney donor started with a bike ride in June 2019 and came full circle on February 6, 2020, when I donated my kidney to a 53-year-old woman in Seattle, WA. Some would say I donated my kidney to a stranger, but I prefer to think of it as recycling my kidney to a lifelong friend I haven’t yet met. While I do hope to meet her in person, I know that if we don’t, the friendship and bond we share will be no less enduring.

I am excited and honored to be appointed to the Board of Kidney Donor Athletes. My involvement with KDA will allow me to combine my love of Ironman Triathlons with my passion for raising awareness about living organ donation—a life-saving process that many individuals do not realize is even possible. I have been invited to compete in the 2020 Hawaiian Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, where I will proudly represent Kidney Donor Athletes worldwide. I am grateful to Team Ironman Foundation for the opportunity to advocate for living organ donation at this international event.

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Wendy Johnson

KDA Secretary pro tem

 

In 2019 I tried to donate my kidney to a friend but learned I wasn’t a match. From there, the ensuing journey and benefit of my donation grew in ways I couldn’t imagine. By participating in the kidney donor registry, my friend became a recipient from a non-directed donor and my kidney went to a woman who lives way up north, in Utqiagvik, Alaska which has the unique distinction of being known as the most northern town in the world.

I’ve worked in or with nonprofits for most of my career, over 30 years. But none of the organizations I was affiliated with represent such a personal connection to me as KDA. At 63 years old, I’m not an ultra-athlete, so I’m grateful to represent our “active” contingent. I became involved with KDA because we are telling the story that you can live a full, active life with one kidney. This mission and these people represent generosity, health, hope and vitality in all the best ways. It’s really about life; giving someone another shot at life and living our best lives. And it’s a deep honor to be part of that story and to help share it with others.

Wendy Johnson Kidney Donor Athlete Board

Brian Clapp

 

I became a kidney donor athlete on September 21, 2021, when I donated my left kidney to my son. As both a donor and the father of a recipient, I am a passionate and committed advocate for living donation. The skill and care of the medical team was amazing and the outpouring of support for my son was awesome. It was a life-affirming and life-changing experience for both of us.

Being physically fit and active has always been important to me. I love being outdoors. While I particularly enjoy hiking, backpacking, skiing, and biking with family and friends, running is my favorite activity. I have completed over 25 marathons and more than 100 other races of various distances. I was able to get back to running six weeks after donation and ran the Boston Marathon at the six-month mark. The body’s ability to recover is amazing!
I am the President of a human resource consulting firm, CCI Consulting, and live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. My wife (and sometimes running partner) and I love to travel and spend time with our three grown children.

I was introduced to KDA a few days after my donation and was inspired by this community of heroes. I am energized by KDA’s mission of providing inspiration, support, and education. Donors are desperately needed so I want to do all I can to highlight the fact that being a living donor is a life-changing positive experience that is not physically limiting.

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Élise Desaulniers

 

I became a Kidney Donor Athlete in early 2022 when I donated my left kidney to a stranger through the Canadian Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) Program.

I had started running a few months earlier, at the same time as I began the process of becoming a kidney donor and I often went running after my tests at the hospital. Today, I continue to run to promote living kidney donation.

I am also very interested in social justice issues in general and animal ethics in particular. I have been a vegan for fifteen years, the author of several books on the subject, and the Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA.

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Zach Eyster

 

Learning about the opportunity to donate a kidney to a stranger was one of those things I couldn’t un-know. For me as for many others, I experienced a wonderful sense of opportunity and obligation, which I was so grateful to fulfill on November 3, 2021.

KDA was a tremendous source of inspiration and energy throughout my donation process. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be an example to others, especially to parents of young children, to show that donation need not wait!

With my one remaining kidney, I run and roughhouse with my three sons each and every day. I hope through KDA many more people can feel the same inner pull to donate that I did and know that their post-donation lives will be rich, full, and fun!

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Kristine Frost

 

Reading a Facebook post at 4:00 am about a friend of a friend needing a kidney sent me into action. I was determined to donate a kidney in the moment. My husband, being competitive, quickly followed suit.

He donated to the person in the Facebook post, and I went on to donate to a high-sensitized person in December of 2019.

I was lucky to meet my recipient in the hospital two days after donation. I’m a non-traditional athlete – having gone from 400 lbs. to completing 39 marathons and an Ironman.

Aside from our athletic pursuits my husband and I continue to advocate for living donation, as well as various other causes that are near and dear to our hearts.

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Dineish Nallainathan

 

G’Day! From Sydney, Australia. I donated a kidney to a family member in February 2020. Prior to COVID (and my organ donation), I’ve run many marathons in Australia and Singapore. I don’t consider myself a fast runner, but I enjoy the thrill of challenging my limits.

I find the term ‘Donor’ misleading as I firmly believe kidney donation is not a one-way engagement – I’ve learned a lot about myself and my priorities in life as a result of becoming a Kidney Donor. I’m now passionate about supporting others in their kidney donation journey and raising awareness about Organ Donation.

Thanks to awesome organizations such as KDA, we now distribute the ‘Donor Hero Care Pack’ (a care pack for kidney donors to be given in hospitals immediately after their surgery) across most hospitals in Australia. KDA was also instrumental in providing me with much-needed reassurance when I was considering kidney donation. I feel honored to be part of the KDA journey and continue to build on the awesome work already done by the group.

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Jennifer Rice

 

I donated my kidney to my father February, 18th 2021 in St Louis, MO. I work in finance and run a nonprofit that aids young girls in Africa. I worked out regularly prior to donating and fell in love with hiking and would hike 10-17 miles once a week. When I decided to donate I began taking my workouts more seriously. I wanted to be in the best shape possible before donating with the hopes it would aid in my recovery.

I was so grateful when I found KDA on Facebook. The community really embraced me and helped show me what was possible post-donation. I am in better shape now than I was prior to donating. I competed in my first bodybuilding competition placing 4th.

There are so many misconceptions around donating especially in the black community. My hope, I can help change that and remove the negative stigma and get more people open to donate

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors

Gemel Sipin

 

My name is Gemel Sipin and I’m a life-long Alaskan from Anchorage, AK. I had the opportunity to join the one-kidney club in May 2021 via a paired exchange for my wife, Miranda.

Miranda has an auto-immune condition called Lupus and in 2019 I witnessed her battle with kidney disease first-hand. It was intense and the most difficult aspect was feeling helpless during her ordeal. However, that all changed once I was deemed a good candidate to be a living donor.

I immediately jumped at the opportunity to donate and during the process, I came across KDA when searching online for what is the quality-of-life post-donation. KDA has been instrumental to my donation journey and each member treats each other like one big family, which we are!

Steve Wilson Kidney Donor Athlete Board of Directors