It seems hard to believe that it was 5 years ago today that I parted with my kidney! Looking back on this past year, it feels like it’s been a great year of growth and new connections in the Transplant World. There isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t meet a new donor or recipient. This year, when I think of what I am grateful for it’s all of the new friends, many of them living donors, who I have connected with. I don’t know if it’s an official selling point of donating an organ, but the living donor alumni club is one of the best clubs I belong to. Five years out, as I look at all of the things I have gained from being a donor, the friendships with like-minded people is at the top of my list. It’s interesting to me that the first thing we have in common (being a donor), is never the last thing we have in common.
Donor Diaries was successfully launched! Episode 6 went live this month featuring my family transplant story told via an interview with my dad- we had a great time making it together. The National Kidney Foundation of IL (NKFI) podcast, The Journey Continues, featured our episode as well! Big thanks to Monica Fox for collaborating! It was a big month for podcasting, as I also had the opportunity to be on the Uplifting Women Podcast today! Thank you to Holly Teska and Kristin Strunk for the opportunity!
The documentary series that I am working, Abundant, is making progress. The content for the documentary is coming from a staged storytelling show called CrowdSource for Life, which will feature powerful stories from 18 living donors. A major development is that we are now partnered with PBS! WTTW Chicago has agreed to be our presenting and distributing station. We will reach over 1.2 million households over a 2 year period. While our goal is not to recruit living donors, I do expect that it will inspire some people to come forward and consider living donation. If we could get 1,000 people to step forward, that could take 2,500 people off the kidney transplant waitlist. We are currently looking for funding for the production. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping fund an exciting project that will result in human lives saved, please let me know! Check out our teaser trailer here!