So Excited About Life

Lisa gets to spend time with her two sons because someone said "Yes" to organ donation.

Lisa gets to spend time with her two sons because someone said “Yes” to organ donation.

Fifteen years after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant, Lisa Givens now has more energy than most people. “I am so excited about life and my two sons, who are now 30 and 23,” Lisa says.

She lives a satisfying life today thanks to the generosity an organ donor.

In 1990, Lisa was a 25-year-old licensed beautician. She finished with her last client one day and noticed that her ankles and hands were swelling. “I immediately knew that something was wrong,” she says. She was rushed to a hospital emergency room where she learned that she had high blood pressure and was suffering from kidney disease. “I was caught off guard with a diagnosis of end-stage renal failure,” she says.

Lisa in front of a memorial to another great organ donation advocate, Walter Payton.

Lisa in front of a memorial to another great organ donation advocate, Walter Payton.

Life changed completely at that point. She went into denial, lost energy and could no longer work, especially after starting dialysis three times a week. “I was barely able to care for my two boys,” Lisa recalls. “I prayed and asked God to allow me to live to see my children reach the age of 18.”

Lisa was placed on the transplant waiting list for a lifesaving kidney. In January 1999, during one of her three-hour dialysis treatments, Lisa received the call that she had been praying for: A kidney match was available for her, and she received her transplant later that same day.

Today, Lisa is an Advocates of Hope volunteer with Gift of Hope, and she is forever grateful for another chance at life. “I am a living proof that organ donation really works,” she says. “I thank my sons for never giving up on their mom. And, most of all, may God bless my organ donor.”

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