“What it means to me is having the health to be able to perform my work as a firefighter, and to be able to give back to the community and my family.” – David Wood
I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) when I was in high school. Over the next several years my kidney function declined at a more rapid pace than anyone initially anticipated. In 2014, my PKD specialist at the Mayo Clinic recommended me for a transplant and I was placed on the transplant waiting list. At the same time, my family and I sent out messages to friends and colleagues asking them to be tested as living donors.
I was adopted from South Korea when I was 6-months-old and I do not have any biological family that could go through the testing process. One friend went through all the medical testing, but unfortunately could not donate. I was not discouraged by this news and kept up the search. In the spring of 2015, I found a living donor, my adopted sister, Tricia. On July 21, 2015 I had my kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic.
Since receiving the transplant, I have been able to continue my job as a public servant helping individuals within both Butler and Warren Counties. This gift has also allowed me to have a more active lifestyle than I had prior to the transplant. Tricia gave me the Gift of Life and I will be forever grateful for her decision to donate.