On April 19, 2007 I donated a kidney to a woman named Brenda Lagrimas whom I had never met before the embarking on my quest to donate a kidney to a stranger. The details surrounding the surgery and the story of what brought Brenda and I together are detailed in the early entries of this blog -- down at the bottom of the page (April and May 2007, mostly).
Because of my job as an FBI Special Agent and the odd way that Brenda and I met (via the website http://www.matchingdonors.com/ ), we ended up getting a lot of international publicity which led to an increased awareness of living organ donations which, in turn, led to others to step forward and donate to strangers.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at simonhere (at) mail (dot com). Here's a video to get you up to speed:
Nearly six months after the surgery, all is well with my health. Living with one kidney is no different at all from living with two. I'm not lopsided or fatigued or in pain. I don't pee more or less than I did before. I still work out a ton including some physical contact sports. Brenda's recovery was slower, which is totally normal. From the moment of the transplant, her new kidney worked perfectly and her kidney-related health problems disappeared. However, it took Brenda a while to find the "sweet spot" regarding the dosage of her anti-rejection drugs. Too much weakens her immune system. Too little increases her risk of rejecting my old kidney which would lead to her having to listen to me bitch and moan more than anyone should have to.
Anyway, Brenda has found the proper dosage of anti-rejection drugs, and she is now doing fine. We speak regularly, and our families have all met. She went from being a stranger to a organ recipient to a great friend over the course of this year, and for that, I am thankful.