One donor's story: Jeffrey Poitra

  • Belcourt, ND
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2001

Hello, my name is Jeff Poitra and I am 31 years old.  I live in north central North Dakota where I am a shift manager at a local store.  I am also a part time student working toward a degree in nutrition or dietetics.  I am a very health conscious person and enjoy living life to the fullest.

Family has always been the most important part of my life.  I am the youngest of five children, three boys, two girls.  My siblings all have large families so I am blessed with many nieces and nephews.  There is never a dull moment.  I am the type of person who enjoys being busy and productive therefore I have always been ‘a work in progress.’

When I was a senior in high school my brother, 24 years old, just married, with a new baby boy, suffered renal failure.  He too was quite a healthy man and was told by the renal specialist that he was born with only one kidney and a second one that wasn’t fully functional.  My family members were all tested for donation and I was recommended as being the best candidate.  My mother asked me and I didn’t hesitate to say yes to donating.  They say that it is  the “gift of life.”  I merely saw it as helping my big brother continue to be the great father, brother, son, and husband he had always been.  Even though I’ve never considered myself to be a hero, what little kid doesn’t want to grow up to be just that?