In March of 2018, I tipped the scales at 297 pounds. At only 5’2, this made me obese, to say the least. Overweight my entire life, I struggled to maintain a healthy relationship with food.
On March 27, as I reflected on a photo my daughter took of me, I thought about my future. I thought about where my poor health would lead, and I knew it was no where good. So I made a decision. I was determined to start watching what I ate, workout, and get my life on track for the first time ever.
Fast forward to August. I had lost around 70 pounds at that point and was feeling better than I ever had. As I scrolled Facebook I came upon a post from a former HS classmate with a link to the transplant institute saying she was in Stage 4 Kidney failure and needed a living donor. This was something that always appealed to me, but being overweight, wasn’t something I thought I would be able to do. So I reached out and said I’d like to try.
Within a week, I had been tested and then got amazing news…I was a match! But sadly the transplant institute said I was still too overweight. My potential recipient had been told she would have to start dialysis around the beginning of the year, and she adamantly did not want to. This was my “why”. This was my drive to step up my weight loss. So I did just that.
By December 2018 I had lost a total of 150 pounds, and I donated to her two days after Christmas. Many say I saved her life, but really, she saved mine too!
The experience was so personally rewarding I thought, why not do it again? So in November 2019 I started the process of being tested to donate part of my liver. I received word that I got approved within a few months!
On June 4, 2020 I donated 70% of my liver altruistically. I may never meet my liver recipient, but to know I was able to give yet another person a second chance at life is a feeling like no other!