All Stories

Michelle – Kidney recipient

My name is Michelle Branham and I’m from Magoffin County, Kentucky.  I am recipient of a Kidney Transplant and this is my donation story!

My journey to donation started a few years ago when I was diagnosed with kidney disease. I experienced many challenges throughout the past few years, working hard to overcome the obstacles the disease caused me.  Despite my fight, I had to start dialysis, which helped manage my disease, but could not resolve it. After many Doctor and Hospital visits, I was informed I would need a lifesaving transplant. Although I’d heard about  organ donation, I wasn’t fully aware of all the things that went into the process.  After lots of testing, visits and meetings, I was placed on a transplant waiting list at Jewish Transplant Center, in Louisville KY.  On September 9, 2017 I received the call that me and my family had long been waiting for. They had a match! I would be getting a new kidney!!

I will never forget that phone call; I was actually at the Dialysis Center when I was contacted. The excitement I felt was indescribable!  Me and my family hurriedly gathered our things and made the trip to Louisville to meet my transplant team. Fast-forward to a little of a year later and I’m here sharing my story with you. All because someone made the choice to give life through organ donation!

Since my transplant, I’ve worked hard to honor my donor and their gift. I’m so lucky to be able to spend time with my Daughter and loved ones, who so many times saw me sick and struggling, but were always there to help me in my time of need. I’m so grateful for my donor, because thanks to them I’m able to see my beautiful Daughter play, celebrate special times with loved ones and simply go to the store without struggling and needing assistance with daily things.  My hope is to share my story as a way of honoring this gift and encourage people to be organ donors, because they truly save lives, just as they did mine!