One donor's story: Shelby Wolf

  • Delano
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2012

I am 40 years old, a little red head who has a lot of spit fire!   I am married to a wonder man named Rich.  We have two wonderful kids and a dog.  We have been married for going on 16 years.  I do work full-time as a Deputy Fire Marshal for a community in the metro area.  I love my job because everyday is different, unpredictable, and I love helping people and making a difference in their lives and in the two communities I serve. My favorite thing to do is to spend time with my family, friends,  and our kids and watching them grow in their different activities that they do.  I am an outdoors type person. I love hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, biking and pretty much any activity that has to do with outside. Our favorite time of the year is winter because as a family we love to go down hill skiing.

The things that are most important to me are God, family and friends.  Life is a gift and you need to cherish every moment you have with your loved ones and do as much as you can with them.

The date of  November 27, 2012 will be a day that will never be forgotten in the Wolf household! It  transformed my husband Rich’s life, and our families life forever!  On this day I donated my kidney to my love of my love life, Rich. Without this transplant our lives would have been so different.  It was a miracle that as a wife I was able to donate my kidney to my husband.  We were a match!  Oh, such a BIG answer to a prayer! God is so good!

Rich and I have been married for going on 16 plus years. We have young kids. My husband Rich’s journey to getting a kidney transplant has been going on for several years. Rich was diagnosed with a genetic type of kidney disease a long while ago. For years medication would somewhat keep the disease in check. But slowly his kidneys were failing. In December 2010 Rich was informed that he had to start thinking about getting approved to be on the kidney transplant list. So starting in January 2011 we went through some educational classes. Rich had to go through several tests, and procedures to get approved for a transplant and get put on a waiting list in January. He was approved to be put on the waiting list, and approved to get a transplant I think in late January. It can take up to 5-7 years to get a kidney from the waiting list. As a wife I wanted to see if I could possibly be a donor for him. He is my soul mate. I love him and will do anything for him. The whole idea was to get a new kidney for Rich before he would need to be on dialysis. That is the best case scenario. The donor process started in January and continued all the way into May. It was a long process with lots of testing. In mid May I got the call stating I was approved to be a donor for Rich. It was amazing that I was a match for him. As I always say “We were a match made in heaven!” This October 2012 Rich received news from his labs stating his kidneys were only functioning at about 11%. Which in turn this meant it was soon time for either dialysis or a kidney. I think we both were shocked and scared! For so many years I know I would try and block his disease out of my head. I would sometimes forget that yes he is sick, he looked well most of the time. Most people could not tell he had a disease. He handled it well. He is a big trooper and amazing guy! Thank God I was a match and could give one of my kidneys to him. So the kidney transplant was scheduled for November 27, 2012 at HCMC. Our surgeries were in the morning.  We were both in the hospital for about 5 days.  As a donor I will be honest the first week was a bit rough on me, but it was totally worth seeing my husband like a brand new person.  It transformed his life forever.  He is a new person!  We are both doing great now and we have a new normal as I call it.  Rich got his life back and so did our family!  He is full of energy and life.  He has lots of energy that he never had before the transplant.  As far as me I am back to normal and doing just great!  If I could I would do it all over again to change someone’s life forever!