(WGHP) — Four local women say that the reason they decided to become living kidney donors was they saw donating as an opportunity to help someone get their life back
Dori Goebel started her journey after seeing the Facebook post of a friend who was living with polycystic kidney disease.
“I didn’t really know anything about living donation, and so it wasn’t anything that had ever really crossed my mind,” she said. “When I read Cindy’s story, it just became abundantly clear that that’s what I was supposed to do.”
Dori donated in December 2018.
Similarly, her daughter EK Goebel donated in February 2022 after seeing a social media post about a man she knew of but had not met who needed a kidney.
“Watching her do it and being willing to do something like that definitely made me more aware of the fact that I could do something and help somebody like that. It was also just very clearly…what I was called to do,” EK said.
According to Donate Life America, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and 17 people die each day waiting to receive one.
Courtney Callicutt and Carla Flores-Ballesteros could see the pain the spouses of now-former colleagues were going through as they waited for a kidney.
“She looked at me, and she started crying and, she said, ‘It’s hard to watch somebody you love leave you a little bit more each day,’” Callicutt said.
Callicutt initially started her journey to help the couple as a swap donor.
They ended up taking a kidney from a deceased donor that was available sooner. However, Callicutt continued the process and became an anonymous donor for someone else in need.
They met after the successful surgery.
“He spends a lot of time on the coast even outside of duck season, and he called me and said, ‘I just want to tell you…I got in the ocean for the first time in two years,’” Callicutt said.
Similarly, Allen Jay Elementary School principal Carla Flores-Ballesteros donated a kidney in December 2020 to the husband of a friend and former colleague Patrice Brown.
“Everything just worked to our advantage, and I was the perfect match,” Flores-Ballesteros said.
The donors are grateful that all the recipients are doing well.
However, they aren’t patting themselves on the back.
They share their stories to help educate and to encourage more matches for the more than 100,000 people still waiting to make that life-changing connection.