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Living Donor Story: Hope for Hope

My name is Wanda Thompson. I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC but currently reside in Albemarle, NC.

Would you like to share something about your recipient?

I donated a kidney to my best friend, Hope Cabrera in February 2016. Hope and I have been friends over 30 years and donating to her has helped her have a better quality of life.

What was the day of your surgery like?

I don’t remember a lot about that day but I’m sure ‘surreal’ would have been a great way to describe it. Knowing after all the tests and waiting the day and time had finally come.

How was your recovery and what did you learn through the process?

I remember my recovery being kind of rough for about two weeks after my surgery. I don’t like taking medicine and once I was released from the hospital, I wasn’t taking the pain meds on a schedule because I didn’t like the way they made me feel and they constipated me. The team at the Transplant Center really had to encourage me to take the pain meds so I would feel better and to use a stool softener to help with the constipation. My appetite was off and at times I had trouble keeping food down.

Is there a statement you’d like to make sure that we include or highlight in our feature about your journey?

Fear about being a living donor is natural but the best way to overcome that fear is to think about the difference you can make in a person’s life.

Can you share a statement that may inspire someone to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor?

Be a superhero, register to be an organ donor today!

Wanda is a member of the Charlotte WELD (We Encourage Living Donation) Chapter.

To learn more about WELD and living organ donation, visit