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Non-Directed Living Kidney Donation: Karen's Story

Alexander (pictured, right) received a donor kidney from Karen (pictured, left). Karen recounts the experience below.
 
Karen, right, donated her kidney to recipient Alexander.It was the spring of 2008 when I spoke to my family about organ donation and told them that I wanted to see if I could donate a kidney. I contacted the Transplant Clinic at UW Hospital.
 
I went in and visited with a few people, who were the best at guiding me through what I needed to do to have this be successful. I went through every test imaginable and through it all I never looked back. I told my kids that I was destined to do this.
 
My transplant coordinator was Kathy Schappe and her kindness was so touching. With each appointment I had, the transplant clinic team always made me feel comfortable, and the support they offered during the whole process made me feel like family. They let me pick the surgery date, and then we waited for the day.
 
The night before the big donation day I sat with my kids and my husband and we talked about fears and risks, and I said to them, "This is meant to be. I am not scared, and I don't want you to be scared. This is how it is supposed to be."
 
The donation was a success, and I would do it a million times over. The man who received my kidney, Alexander, is a wonderful man. We keep in contact to this day. I believe organ donation is extremely important and does amazing things for others in need. We need more living donors, and we need more humanitarian donors.
 
UW Hospital does an amazing job getting the word out about donation, and I wish more people would open their eyes to the possibility of donating.