While you’re listening to this episode, there’s a good chance today’s guest, Kari Kirkland, is getting close to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro — highest mountain in the world, standing at 19,341 feet. She’s joining dozens of others, some also kidney donors, organ recipients and advocates to bring awareness to the importance of living organ donation. The group is expected to reach the top on March 9, 2023, also known as World Kidney Day.
This episode is part of a series during March which National Kidney Month, a topic that’s very personal to me. My middle son is 17 years old and in the process of being added to the kidney transplant list, something that surprised us, and yet has been a long time coming. Since the moment we were told this was necessary, I’ve spent hours reading and researching, and have learned so much about not only what he’ll have to go through, but what being a kidney donor looks like, and what it may entail. And I have to tell you, it’s eye opening.
Approximately 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant list, 13 die each day waiting for an organ. Knowledge is power and when we’re educated, it not only helps decrease the amount of medical disinformation that’s out there in the world, but we can best support the donors and recipients in our lives, relatives, friends, co-workers and community members in a more impactful way. And there’s nothing more grown-ass than that.
Guest: Kari Kirkland is a living kidney donor who’s lived a life of adventure — artist, performer, wedding / event planner, private chef, flying trapeze artist and coach, Ironman triathlete… She’s lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and has traveled the world. Now she’s climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to bring awareness to living donation, reaching the summit on World Kidney Day on March 9, 2023. “This climb presents the opportunity to realize that even as a living organ donor, we can still accomplish incredible physical and mental feats! I look forward to watching the sunrise on the top of Kili, surrounded by living donors and advocates, and being a strong example of what is possible after living organ donation.”
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