A year ago my brother called me regarding his health, he found out his kidney’s were failing. It was only a matter of months before he would be on dialysis.  For years Tim’s health had been failing due to diabetes.  I come from a family of six children where diabetes is prevalent; according to data from the National Diabetes in 2011 a total of 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. However another 70 million people are “prediabetes”.  That’s about 12% of our population.

Tim is my eldest brother who is married,  they have a beautiful 10 year old daughter.  Tim has saved my life twice. Once when I dove off a raft into a lake Ontario as a child and came up gasping for air. Tim saw me from the shore and immediately swam out to save me, he arrived just as I had given up and was going under. The second time I was in a barn fire around 12 years of age.

It was a fairly easy decision for me to donate my kidney, I figured it would cost me surgery and four weeks of recuperation in exchange for saving a life. I immediately went to my doctor and requested a physical along with determining my blood type. I was disappointed to find out my blood type was different and therefore not a match. A friend of mine told me about the National Kidney exchange program. When I called the Clinical Transplant Coordinator at UPMC in Pittsburgh PA and begin the rigorous process of determining whether I was completely healthy to donate.

I am donating my kidney next week on the 16th of August. I am planning to write about my experienceMy brother Tim and I leading up to the donation and then after the surgery in hopes of sharing my story with others who are considering this process.





  1. Wendy; my thoughts are with you. I wish you a speedy recovery from your operation.
    And, speaking of the “operation”…I hope they are throwing in a cosmetic procedure or two work just for fun. LOL….sorry, you know me. My kidding aside: You are an amazingly brave and loving person. I’m sure things will go smoothly and will be back to normal soon.
    You are a true hero. Love, Don

  2. Wendy;

    You have always been inspirational to me. Your gesture and decision on behalf of your brother is awesome and I respect and treasure your friendship even more as a result. Your story is worth telling and a great spiritual and ” doing what matters” guide to me.

    You are amazing.

    Love Ya

  3. Wendy…I will be thinking of you tomorrow. It happens to be the day of my transplant, a 3 way paired exchange.

    I started the Living Kidney Donors Network after my first transplant 5 years ago. The BK virus attacked my transplanted kidney.

    The LKDN helps people who need a kidney transplant pursue living donation.

    After we recover, I would welcome speaking with you.

    Harvey Mysel
    Founder, Living Kidney Donors Network
    Office 312-473-3772


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