Transplant: Kidney - 1996
Team: Upper Midwest
Hometown: Kasson, MN
Events: Track - 100m & 200m Sprints
My Story: At age 2 I became ill due to e.coli bacteria which shut down my kidneys and led to Humulitic Uremic Syndrome. Doctors indicated to my parents that I would probably never learn to walk. Throughout my childhood years, I went for yearly check-ups at the University of Minnesota. In 1991, my condition began to worsen and I was placed on a restrictive diet with the eventual plans being that of a transplant. Testing of my parents for tissue matching (compatibility) took place in mid-1995. My mother was a close match and the surgery took place May, 1996. I am one of the more lucky individuals who was able to find a suitable donor quickly. For that reason and the fact that we always knew that the surgery was inevitable, the transplant took place prior to dialysis being necessary. Since the transplant, I have been very active in competitive gymnastics and participated on the high school track team this past spring. The transplant has been an enormous blessing to my life and I cannot imagine the quality of life I would be leading without it. The care and support that I have received from my family and friends was and has been super.
My Message to the World: I hope that everyone who has the opportunity to improve the quality of someone's life donates the "gift of life." Check yes on your driver's license, and make sure your family knows of your intentions. My experience has enabled me to enjoy many things that were not possible prior to my transplant. I hope that you jump at the chance to do for someone else what was done for me. Get your tissue tested to see if you are a possible donor to be put on the list for one of the thousands of critically ill people waiting every day for a transplant.
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