Board of directors
Kidney Donors dedicated to promoting the mission and values of kidney donor athletes.
I donated my kidney to a stranger in May of 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin, starting a national donor chain where four people received kidneys. I had run marathons and ultra marathons prior to my donation and wanted proof that I could continue to race long distances with one kidney. My lack of living examples of endurance athlete kidney donors inspired me to start Kidney Donor Athletes back in August of 2018! I have raced in two ultras since donation (a 50 miler and a 100k) and happily landed on the podium each time, with my remaining kidney well intact. I am beyond excited to have this amazing line-up of incredible people, and passionate kidney donation advocates to help me grow this organization!
January 2, 2019, the day my kidney made its move to help at that time, a total stranger. It’s wild to think Devon’s new kidney has been alive almost twice as long as he has….but they’re both happily enjoying life together 🙂 Living in the Seattle area provides endless outdoor activities near and dear to my heart. But the opportunity to help others is the predominant feature of what will be the second half of my life. Kidney Donor Athletes provides the perfect opportunity to combine two of my great loves in life, and I’m thrilled with this opportunity to serve on the board of directors as we help grow this most amazing community we all love so dearly.
Congratulations to Bobby on being elected President of Kidney Donor Athletes in September 2021!
Shawna SampsonI 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!
Katie WheelerI donated a kidney to my mother on September 25, 2018, in Kansas City, MO. As I’m currently living in Denver, I’ve been able to attend many events with other kidney donors and get to know other people in this community. Being connected to people who understand what I’ve gone through is immensely helpful. As someone who did not know other living kidney donors prior to my donation, I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that connects with both donors and potential donors as well as demonstrates that you can save a life through kidney donation and still be the athlete you were before.
Steve WilsonI 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.
My name is Sarah Hawkins. I currently live in San Luis Obispo, CA – otherwise known as the Happiest City in America! I became a kidney donor athlete on February 6, 2019, when I donated my left kidney to Dr. Terry Gillian, the father of a friend from elementary school who lost his kidney function to an adrenal tumor. I don’t have any more spare kidneys to share, but I still want to share something of myself and being on the Board of Directors for KDA allows me to share my story and my gifts to facilitate future kidney donations from the athlete community.
“Whoever saves a life saves the world” – Israeli Proverb