My name is Olivia McCoy I am 24 years old and I had kidney failure at age 15.

I had always been a very active kid growing up, I had no major medical issues and I was an elite runner on a track team, which is why it came as a shock to me once I moved to Minnesota in 2011 and my health started to decline. I ran on the high school track team and noticed that I was feeling more tired than usual, I started to notice that I was feeling nauseous and had a loss appetite. I remember one day as I was leaving the house, I cut my finger and there was a lot of blood from this tiny cut this was a sign of how anemic I was, later that day I went to the mall with friends and after eating at the food court I got sick and threw up. After other incidents of throwing up after eating, my mom took me into the doctor, after a few tests the hospital called my parents and told them to take me to the hospital and they would have a doctor waiting for me.

When we got to the hospital, I had three different doctors check on me and my numbers and they found that creatinine level was 22 a normal kidney function at 1.2.

I was put on dialysis and due to how often I was in treatment I was in and out of school my freshman year of high school. After a few months of dialysis I was put on a transplant list, two weeks later I was receiving my kidney.

After my transplant I had a few rounds of rejection, but I was able to pull through and keep my kidney. I was running cross country and track a year after my transplant and was able to finish out high school. I still have a few bumps in the road dealing with renal failure, but I am so thankful that I was able to receive a kidney and continue to live out my life.

Organ donation is very important to me not only because I have gone through the process of receiving an organ but because you have the chance to change someone’s life, just as someone changed mine and for that I am forever grateful.