Considering Becoming a Living Donor? Talk with Someone Who’s Donated.

 
By, Kati Walker, NKF Peers Living Donor Mentor
 
In January 2014, I donated a kidney to my children’s elementary school principal. It was by far, one of the best decisions of my life. Nothing could prepare me for the deep sense of gratitude and peace I felt, that I was given this opportunity to help someone in need, not needing a thing in return.
 
Since that time, I have become a passionate advocate for living kidney donation. I became a mentor with NKF Peers to help potential living donors learn more about living donation through my personal story as they determine if living donation is the right choice for them.
 
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my same story from potential donors: what they are feeling, their hopes for the recipient, the nerves about telling their loved ones…an entire host of concerns. Potential living donors receive a lot of clinical information from various sources, but having someone who has actually gone through the process impacts them in a different way. A person can relate to someone who is going through the same things that they are, and that is comforting when making a major life decision.
 
My hope with each person I speak with is to shed some light on my real-world experience of living donation. My job is not to give advice, just share my journey and perspective.
 
I understand that not every person I mentor will decide to go through with the donation. Their final decision is between them, their families and their doctors, but if I can help a person understand the journey and that contributes to them making the best decision for themselves, then I’ve done my part.
 
Are you considering living donation?  Would you like to speak with a peer mentor?  Call NKF Peers today: 1-855-653-7337 or email nkfpeers@kidney.org