2017 Transplant and Organ Donation Calendar: Brigitt Capps and Roger Ballweg
Just a few months after Brigitt Capps of Waunakee, Wis., donated a kidney for her father, a co-worker told her she looked like she had never even undergone surgery.
Indeed, the process of donating a kidney was so smooth for her that she would do it over again. "It was an amazing experience," she says.
Brigitt's father, Roger Ballweg, was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure nearly three years ago. Beginning in late 2014, several family members were tested to be living kidney donors.
Though Brigitt was in good enough health to donate a kidney, she was not a match for her father. But there was another option: They could participate in a paired kidney exchange, in which they swapped kidneys with other donor-recipient pairs in a similar situation.
After more than a year of testing and waiting, Roger finally received his new kidney in February 2016. "I'm pretty proud of Brigitt," says Roger, who lives in Madison.
"My dad kept telling me that this was a huge thing to ask your child to do," says Brigitt. "He was concerned that I would need my other kidney at some point. I told him, 'I can't worry about what's going to happen in the future. I can only worry about what I do right now.' "