One donor's story: Don Stranik

  • Clayton, CA
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2000

My 4 siblings knew that our oldest sister’s kidney was failing and needed a transplant or would die. We all agreed to be tested.  When my sister found out, she said none of us who had children should do the testing.  I was the only one without, so I told my sister I wanted to be checked. I had “hundreds of tests” and 2 trips to Minneapolis. At each test I tried to get the staff laughing and even succeeded with the psychologist. At the talk with the MD after all my results were in,  he told me that if I didn’t want to go through with it, he would tell the others that we were incompatible.  But after a half hour talk I told him I still wanted to go ahead. The anesthesia and pain meds were great, but the leg wrappers that expanded and contracted drove me crazy. My sister wrote me a letter every anniversary from my kidney, that I had named “Cato” so I could watch him change from a boy kidney to a girl kidney. Whenever we see each other we hug so that Cato is back in the right place in my body. Everyone should consider donating!