All Stories


Kidney Recipient

My name is Rachel Bratcher and I am a kidney transplant recipient. 

When I was 17 years old, I was diagnosed with a kidney disease known as IgA Nephropathy.  Fast forward to 2020 – I went for my annual physical appointment only to discover I was in unknowingly in end-stage renal disease failure and my kidney disease had rapidly progressed.  Unfortunately, the damage that had been done to my native kidneys was not repairable which led to difficult conversations surrounding transplant and dialysis. 

In April of 2021, I begin what would become a 13 month journey on peritoneal dialysis.  I spread awareness for my need of a transplant and living donor by posting my story on social media.  My friend and UofL sorority sister, Haley Wedge reached out to see what she could do help.  Haley immediately began undergoing testing to determine if she would be a viable match and qualify as my living donor. 

In May of 2022, I received the news that I had been hoping and praying for – Haley was a match and would be my living donor.  Since that day, Haley has been by my side as a friend, cheerleader and my living donor.  It is still difficult to comprehend that somebody gave up their summer to save my life but that is exactly what Haley did.  Haley gave me the most special gift I have ever received and ever will receive – she gave me my life back. 

Because of Haley I have been able to return to the life that I love and enjoy and I will forever be grateful for Haley and her extraordinary heart.  I received my kidney transplant on July 5th of 2022 and as I write this I am a little over a year and half post-transplant – happy and healthy!