One donor's story: Chuck Paulson

  • Oakdale
  • Living Donor: 2014

I grew up in a small town in Southeastern Minnesota. I had felt small and wondered about the “purpose of life.” I have learned to believe that we are all following plan prepared for us. That has lead me to believe that my purpose on earth is to lift others through the sharing of love knowledge. I have been in public education for 30 years. My passion is to provide a service to assist others as they travel their life’s journey. That assistance includes working through challenges that could prevent others from being the best that they can become. I have learned to view these challenges as opportunities and be grateful for these challenges as they help me to continually learn and grow in wisdom.

The most important elements in life to me are the sharing of love and knowledge. I, first of all, had to learn to love myself. In return, I have been blessed with the love of family and friends. I have dedicated much of my life to social justice. I believe that one of my purposes in this life is to do my part to non-violently fight against the social injustice in our society. I do that one child, one adult, one classroom, one school at a time.

I had the opportunity to meet the man I donated to through a neighborhood dinner group. About every two months, five couples get together to share a wonderful meal and participate in hours of laughter. At one of these dinner parties, my neighbor/friend/now brother announced that he had qualified for a kidney transplant. My first question was, “How can I help?” His wife handed me a card that would begin an incredible journey for both of us. I am a white male. My recipient is a African American male. The results of our medical tests showed that we were compatible like those of blood relatives. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that we all have a plan and purpose prepared for us. I continue to be grateful for this opportunity and the opportunities that are yet to be presented to me. Today is March 11, 2015, exactly one year since my donation. Tonight my recipient, our spouses, and I celebrate a one year anniversary of healing and health. On Saturday, our neighborhood dinner group will gather to continue that celebration.

Chuck Paulson