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Great Actions Leave a Mark campaign featuring BC’s living kidney donors

39 living kidney donors and transplant recipients showcase their scars as badges of pride in public awareness campaign.
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This public awareness campaign spearheaded by Ontario's UHN Ajmera Transplant Centre and The Centre for Living Organ Donation showcases photos and videos of people proudly showing their scars. In collaboration with YE Agency, a number of BC's transplant community were interviewed and photographed. Here are Andy's and Amy's stories – check out our social media channels for other BC stories.


Andy Smith, Anonymous living kidney donor

What made you consider becoming a living kidney donor?

I learned about living kidney donation through an online post that a friend from high school shared about her decision to donate to her former co-worker. Seeing that post sparked some curiosity for me about whether I too, could be a donor. As I did more research and learned about the generally positive outcomes for donors, I got in touch with BC Transplant to see if I would qualify. I really wanted to be able to help someone in need. After my assessment showed that I was very healthy and that the risk to myself was relatively low, I decided to proceed.  

How are you feeling post-donation, knowing the impact you made on a recipient's life?

I feel good knowing that I have done everything I can to make one person's life a bit better. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to be one part of their journey to a healthier and fuller life. I trust that there are others around them providing a network of support. I also really value the mysterious reality that we are physically connected and that part of my body can help support the life and well-being of another person.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering living kidney donation?

Follow your inclination to explore being a living donor! It is a very fulfilling thing to do, and allows us to contribute significantly to another person. Imagine if you or a family member needed a kidney donation and how excited you would be if someone were to offer to donate; you have the ability to offer that relief and life to someone else.   

Watch a glimpse into Andy's living kidney donation journey.


Amy Jen, Living kidney donor (direct to mother) 

Tell us about your decision to become your mom's living kidney donor.

My mom was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure in the summer of 2020 and her nephrologist told us that in order for her to survive, she would either need dialysis or a new kidney in the coming months. 

My late grandfather was a dialysis patient and we witnessed how it impacted his quality of life with all the limitations. I knew in my heart that dialysis is not ideal and if at all possible, I did not want my mom to go through the same thing. My husband was extremely supportive when I told him I wanted to donate my kidney. I got tested immediately and we were very fortunate that my mom underwent a pre-emptive kidney transplantation in April 2021.

How are both you and your mom doing now?

It has been an absolute incredible journey as a living donor. I feel completely healthy with no adverse effects and I resumed my normal activities three months post-donation. As a mom of two young boys, they keep me busy and active. This life-altering experience really put things into perspective - I appreciate and cherish life on a whole new level. My mom is doing well and her kidney function is phenomenal. There are very little limitations and she no longer needs to follow a very strict diet.  

I am filled with immense gratitude and pride that my mom gave me life and I saved her with my spare. That bond we share is so special and priceless. 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering living kidney donation?

I encourage everyone to consider and learn about living organ donation, and to weigh out the potential risks and benefits. Being a living kidney donor has made me so happy and proud, knowing that I have made a positive impact on my mom's life. If I could, I would do it over and over again, in a heartbeat. 


Visit to see the impact of living organ donation and learn more about how to become a living donor

Watch our Great Actions Leave a Mark playlist of videos on YouTube. 

SOURCE: Great Actions Leave a Mark campaign featuring BC’s living kidney donors ( )
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