October 23, 2021
Here is the story that Clarence wrote about his altruistic kidney donation to a stranger. Rebecca was the lucky recipient of that noble donation!
I first heard of living kidney donation through watching a TED talk by Ned Brooks. He spoke of learning about altruistic kidney donation from a podcast and immediately knew he would donate a kidney to a stranger. I had the same reaction upon hearing his talk.
I thought: This is something I could do, something I want to do, and this is something I will do.
After discussing it with my partner, I decided to move forward with the process. We had recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and had one of the country’s best transplant departments in our backyard. I contacted UCSF and went through the initial testing. The process was extremely meticulous, and I fully felt that UCSF had my best interests at heart. I was going through the process to get matched with a stranger through the hospital network, when I mentioned my plans to donate to my sister-in-law, Molly. She told me about a friend of hers, Rebecca, who she had had lunch with the day before. Rebecca needed a kidney.
Rebecca and I moved forward with testing to see if we were a match, and we were. June 23, 2020, was the date scheduled for the surgery.
The team of surgeons was excellent and took every effort to explain the process, the healing, and put my mind at ease. I was able to go home three days after the surgery, and two weeks later, I was feeling back to my usual self.
Now, a year-and-a-half later, I feel physically and mentally healthy. I feel proud and fulfilled knowing that a small piece of my body is living on in another human and making it possible for Rebecca to continue to live out her life fully and be a positive influence in the world.
The TED talk link is https://youtu.be/nhht9kslq04