“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”  –  Maya Angelou

Rock 1 Kidney is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit fueled by the passion of kidney donors who want to inspire courage in potential donors by sharing stories of ways they are “rocking one kidney” post-donation.

Hi, I’m Jen. I was 39 when I donated a kidney to my husband, Bryan, on July 20, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

He is the love of my life, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me. He needed a kidney, and I had an extra. But I was surprised by how much fear friends and family members expressed:

“Can you still drink?”

“Can you still travel?”

“Can you still hike?”

“Can you still ski?”

And the kicker: “Will you live as long?”

As you probably know, the answer to those questions is YES. I still do all the things that I enjoy, and statistically, kidney donors live longer than the regular population (the theory is that if you are healthy enough to donate a kidney, you’re healthier than the regular population so you live longer). The docs discourage kickboxing after donation, but that wasn’t an issue for me because I am completely uncoordinated.

And my life is even better since donating a kidney. It’s been amazing to see Bryan get back into mountain biking – he was easily winded before the transplant. He rapidly lost 16 pounds of water he was retaining due to his failing kidneys. And he isn’t yoked to a dialysis machine, so we have freedom in our lifestyle. We’re closer than ever, and hike every day with our goofy dog, Rio. We were camping in the Rocky Mountains seven weeks after our surgeries!

But not everyone has such a happy ending. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 4,903 people died while waiting for a kidney transplant in 2011. Every day, an average of 13 people die waiting for a life-saving transplant.

We have the power to end needless deaths and suffering. So I founded Rock 1 Kidney as a forum where living donors can share stories of ways they are rocking one kidney, and inspire others to do the same. If you’re a living donor with a story to share, please click here to share your story.

Let’s inspire courage!


Three days after our surgeries!
Three days after our surgeries!