Kathleen Griner-Fry, Transplant Recipient
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What an amazing journey it has been...
Hi! I’m Kathleen. I’m celebrating my 10 year anniversary of my kidney transplant. In ‘04 I received the Gift of Life! I was so excited I would be able to see my kids grow up (they were ages 8 and 11 at the time).
After my transplant, I asked who my donor was and if there were more recipients. All they could tell me at that time was what organs the other recipients received. I wrote a letter to the donor family thanking them for their decision to donate and wrote three letters to the other kidney, pancreas and liver recipients! Eventually, I met the other three recipients and my donor’s parents!
Six months after my transplant, I started volunteering at Donor Network of Arizona. My mom and my two kids helped at local events registering new donors! I loved spreading the word and my special story too.
Our first transplant anniversary was in 2005. I invited all the recipients, donor family, my family and even the doctors to celebrate! What a wonderful day to tell the donor family how much we appreciated our Gifts of Life!
In April ‘06, I called two TV stations to do a story on the four recipients and donor family to help share this awesome story! I’ve also done radio spots and mentored people on the waiting list.
I lost my mother in ’06. She was my life and a Donor Network volunteer. She is very much missed. Mother’s Day ‘07 was the first without my mom. I had a special Mother’s Day with my donor’s mom. She has been there for me and she even came to my mom’s funeral. Our Mother’s Day spot was awesome!
Over these last ten years, I’ve been able to get remarried to an amazing man, become a step-mom to two girls, and see my kids growing up. (They’re now 18 and 21.) I’ve been a part of graduations, birthdays and holidays. I’ve had some health bumps along the way, but with positive, caring, loving family and all my doctors, I’m doing awesome!
I still keep in touch with the other recipients and my donor mom who is so amazing! She is expecting her first grandson any day and he will be named after his uncle (my donor). What an amazing journey it has been and I am excited to see what the future holds! I truly feel blessed! In the photo, my donor mom is in blue and mine is in green. XO