One donor's story: Dorothy Gilbert

  • Prior Lake
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2012

I grew up in a large family, with six sisters and one brother.  I am married and have a family of my own–my son is a junior at NDSU and my daughter is getting ready to attend the University of Minnesota in fall 2013.  I am a vice president at a software company.

I am happy that I was able to make such a difference in someone’s life and allow them to live to see the birth of grandchildren and enjoy retirement.  The decision to donate an organ doesn’t just affect the recipient–it affects everyone in the family.  Donating an organ to one family member changes things for everyone in the family–my nieces and nephews, my other siblings, and most of all, my mother. My husband and children were worried about me being a donor, but after looking into the risks, they supported my decision.  That was important to me.

One of my siblings became very ill as a result of diabetes, and was on the edge of needing dialysis. I had never even thought about donating an organ.  Frankly, the idea of surgery scared me, because I have been relatively healthy all of my life and have never been in the hospital except for having babies.  I thought I would not be a match, because I look nothing like my sibling.  I ended up being a perfect match.  I will admit I was very nervous and stressed, but in the end, I was able to make the decision without regret.

Dorothy Gilbert