Kym Rakowtiz’s Story

Living Liver and Living Kidney Donor (2-time Living Donor!)

I first learned about living donation in 2018 when I saw someone advertise on their van that they were in need of a kidney.  Without hesitation, I quickly filled out a form but was denied due to my weight.  Over the next couple of years, I still had the burning desire to donate. I set out to lose over 100 pounds just in time to find out that 2 people I knew were in need of a kidney. Sadly, I was not a match for them.  While going over my options, something tugged at my heart to proceed with donation as a non directed donor. 

On December 16th, 2021 I donated my kidney at University Health Transplant Institute. Six months later, I had the opportunity to meet my recipient, Klee Kleber, who had gone into kidney failure due to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Klee was able to receive my kidney through a paired exchange that his friend, Craig had initiated. It was such an incredible experience to be able to meet him. Hearing his story confirmed that I had made the right decision. Klee has become an extended part of my family. 

While still in the hospital recovering from my kidney donation I told everyone that I would be back to donate my liver. It wasn’t long before I was calling the transplant center and asking how long I needed to wait between donation. On June 1, 2023, I donated 66% of my liver as a non-directed donor. 

Today I feel amazing. My scars serve as a reminder of the 2 amazing lives that were forever changed through kidney and liver donation. I am forever thankful for the van that planted the seed.  

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