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My Organ Donation Journey – Chapter 6

My kidney has found a wonderful home

It’s been about one year since my first visit to VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center. That day I met with Maureen Bell to begin my assessment as a prospective donor. 

It’s been an amazing journey. My family and friends came along for the ride and made the experience memorable, and well, fun. There I said it.  I actually enjoyed every moment of the testing, surgery and healing, as well as the opportunity to share my story.

Recently, I had the joy of visiting Hume-Lee for a very different reason. I surprised my recipient when she arrived for her follow-up appointment.

My recipient now has a name—Julie Graham.  She has a face—in fact, a very pretty one. And she has a charming personality and a delightful sense of humor. We talked, laughed and swapped (kidney surgery) war stories like we have been friends for years, not a matter of minutes.

We discovered many things that we have in common. We both love to run. We both enjoy our careers. We’re both social creatures. And now we share something even more important—a pair of kidneys and a very special bond.

So what’s next?  I look forward to many more visits with my new friend Julie and to working tirelessly as an advocate for living organ donations—so that others might enjoy this opportunity of a lifetime.


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