Board of directors
Kidney Donors dedicated to promoting the mission and values of kidney donor athletes.
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.
KDA Vice President
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.
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.
In November 2020, I was browsing Facebook one evening and noticed that my aunt, Jennifer, shared a post. She mentioned that she was looking for a kidney donor. I was absolutely heartbroken, especially knowing that there was a chance that she may not be here to see her baby boy graduate from high school. Without a thought, I told her that I would fill out the application to see if I was a match. Less than a month after the initial testing, I was determined to be the most compatible match. Living in North Carolina at the time, Jennifer lived in El Paso, TX. I was flying back and forth to do testing because I was determined to make this donation happen. In March 2021, I traveled to TX and completed the largest portion of the testing. About 2-3 weeks later, I received a call from my Living Donor Coordinator that was approved to donate. On June 7, 2021, I donated to Jennifer in El Paso, TX. And in June 2022, we got to watch her son, Xavier, graduate from high school. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. In July 2022, I also became an egg donor, donating in San Diego, CA. Since the kidney donation, life has taken on new meaning. I don’t “sweat the small stuff” as much anymore. I am closer to Jennifer and my family. I was able to start higher intensity exercise about two weeks post donation. I am stronger than ever – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As a competitive marathoner, I am back to my pre-donation mileage and pace PLUS some.
When I am not working, I am probably running, strategizing my next run, or planning my next race. I am crazy about running! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of not only a community of living kidney donors, but also a family that will have a special place in my heart for the rest of my life. Looking forward to many years with KDA and spreading the word/love of living organ donation!
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!
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.
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!
I became a living kidney donor in January of 2019 and was fortunate to discover Kidney Donor Athletes almost immediately after my donation.
Mentorship and advice I received in the early days of the group not only helped me return quickly and safely to my primary athletic pursuits (obstacle course races and olympic style weightlifting), but it also led me to participate in the inaugural One Kidney Climb to Mount Kilimanjaro in March of 2022. After that adventure, I continued my KDA advocacy by participating in a trek to Everest Base Camp and Mount Kala Patthar in October of 2022, and I am leading a group of donors on the next KDA One Kidney Climb up Kilimanjaro in March of 2024! I am also a mentor for the National Kidney Donation Organization and have spent the last year serving on the KDA Events Committee. I am currently partnering with four other KDA members in preparing to tackle the Guinness World Record for the fastest ascent of all fifty US high points (May/June 2023). I look forward to participating in carrying out the mission of Kidney Donor Athletes and hope to see an end to the kidney transplant waitlist in my lifetime.
After watching a friend pass away in high school while searching for a bone marrow donor I knew in the future that given the chance to help someone in that capacity, I would do it. Deeply rooted in my faith & many years later I had a strong calling to be that blessing in 2019 when I overheard my favorite spin instructor expressing his need for a kidney. I moved forward with testing almost immediately and in June 2020 my kidney donation was a success! While going through the testing process I found the KDA Facebook page and was inspired by so many like minded individuals who knew exactly what I was going through. I had never met anyone that had donated a kidney before and it was encouraging to go through my donation journey with support from people that just “got it”. Those that know me, are aware that living an active life is very important to me and some questioned if I would be able to maintain such a lifestyle post donation. I have found a passion in showing others that you can ever since! I never donated for my own gain but through donation I have gained more than I ever could have imagined thanks to the relationships I have built with other donors along the way.
Outside of my advocacy adventures you can find me with my husband and our two young children who I hope to inspire daily. It is because of their steadfast support that I am able to make an impact in lives beyond our own.