There may be a few moments of silence until the speaking starts.

Kidney Chain Reaction....


I don’t know how many of you have had a chance to listen to the Freakonomics podcast that I did last February to talk about my kidney donation, (listen above). One person who did listen is Suzanne, a remarkable lady who heard me talking with my recipient on that podcast, and decided she needed to donate her kidney as well. She spent thirty days on the Camino de Santiago, where she hiked and prayed for guidance as to her proper course of action. 

She heard the call and she answered – this past Monday she donated her kidney at UCLA and initiated a chain of 13 transplants. Her decision is altering the lives of many, many people – think of all the family members who are impacted by a loved one’s new lease on life. 

I tried to call her at the hospital on Wednesday morning, only to learn that she was discharged on Tuesday! I reached her at home just as she was returning from a walk outside. Yes, she donated her kidney on Monday and she resumed her activities at home on Wednesday. I have had colds that sidelined me for longer than that.

Bravo, Suzanne, you are an inspiration to the community of living donors and an example for the rest of us. 

Tis better to give than to receive


Suzanne Hiking.jpg

It has been a unusual Christmas season here. I have not really had time to process it all, but on Monday, Dec. 12th, I donated one of my kidneys to someone in Texas. It felt wonderful to share this gift of life at Christmas, and it has been a powerful experience for me to join in a "chain” with other donors. I hesitate to share this news because I don’t want the focus to be on me, but I do want to make people aware that there is a serious need for kidney donations. I am hoping someone will be inspired and will consider going through the process and be able to donate too.

It all began for me by listening to a Freakonomics podcast, “Ask Not What Your Podcast Can Do For You.” It was so moving that I was in tears by the end of the podcast. I had no idea that there are over 101,000 people waiting for a kidney, but only 17,000 people receive one each year. Every day 12 people die waiting for a kidney. We each have two kidneys but we only need one to stay healthy.

The key for me has been the idea of starting the first link of a kidney donor chain. It starts with just one altruistic donor whose kidney is transplanted into a recipient. That person has a donor who is willing to give a kidney, but was not personally a match. The next recipient also has a donor lined up, creating a chain of opportunities for endless recipient-donor pairings. But it all has to start with one original donor.

Suzanne just 3 days after surgery 

Suzanne just 3 days after surgery 

So, after having the most thorough health check up ever (all for free, I should add), I was approved. This Monday, I was excited, anxious and emotional. There were tears as I thought of the patient and family on the receiving end and the hope they would soon have in Texas where they were waiting for surgery. My kidney flew there and another kidney flew back to California. I feel very blessed to be able to be part of this living chain. This week there will be a total of 5 kidney donations, and my chain is expected to be up to 13 donations. We will see what happens. I ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for all who are involved. It has only been 3 days since my surgery and I feel really good.

Please feel free to call or email if this is something that interests you or you know someone who is considering donating. I can be reached by cell at 310-666-2141 or email: or visit

With gratitude for life,


PS I don’t know who the Texan is - not sure if he/she is a Republican, Democrat or ? 😉

PPS I am not a hero or a saint…all of us know from Billy Joel’s lyrics, “I’d rather laugh with sinners than cry with the saints…The sinner are much more fun!” 

Mountain Spain - Suzanne