Illinois Donor Diaries – Chapter 35 – Share Your Toys, Share Your Life


Michelle and her Aunt

Michelle shares the latest chapter from our Illinois Donor Diaries about her kidney transplant and the essence of sharing – fitting for the season.

Please submit your story here if you’d like us to share your personal tie to organ and tissue donation.


When we’re young, we’re taught about sharing.  If you have two dolls, and your friend wants to play with one, you should give one to them, and then you both get a toy.  While donating organs isn’t the same, it follows a similar philosophy.  It’s not easy to think about, but for those of us lucky enough to have received organs, it’s difficult to think about how our lives might be different.

When I took my driving test and was asked if I would like to register to be a donor, the decision seemed easy.  I never knew I would need a kidney down the road.

I have believed in the philosophy of sharing from a young age, and now I believe in it even more, having needed a kidney and received one from my aunt, as a living donor.  While I might have had to give up my life as I know it, everyone who meets me can’t believe I have had a kidney transplant.

As a journalist, I devote my life to telling the stories of others, but this is one case in which it is impossible to remain objective.  To those of us who have participated in the process, it’s not a question of giving something up, but gaining a special bond as humans.

Of course it’s a personal decision, but I recommend to everyone that they at least consider registering to be a donor.

No matter how different we are, we’re connected, and that’s why we need to support each other.

~ Michelle M.
Evanston, Ill.

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