In 1979 I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus, the disease was very active. I was put on high doses of Prednisone and very harsh chemo drugs to try to contain it, but it lead to Kidney failure. I started Hemodialysis in 1987 and was transplanted in 1989. I received a cadaver kidney which lasted me 23 years.

Amazing I know, but I took good care of it. Protocol to be transplanted in 1988-1989 was for the recipient to get 5 blood transfusions from different people to boost your immune system. Also while on dialysis they reused your filter, well somewhere during this process I caught Hepatitis C. Now forward to 23 years later, yep you guessed it, humeral rejection happened. We tried to stop it but in the end the kidney was lost. I now have been on the transplant list 7 years, while doing peritoneal dialysis every night for 10 hours and completing 1 exchange during the day. The doctors had me take medication to cure the Hepatitis C, which I found out worked!!

y life on dialysis now is a new normal. Things I could do before without thinking about, now I must plan out. I have to plan when to get on the dialysis cycler so I can have enough time to complete the 10 hour cycle. I can not just get up and go, I get out of breath walking too much or too fast. In all I try not to let this get in the way too much but this is my new normal, until I find my donor hero.

My fear living with kidney failure is that I will run out of time. Time I want so desperately to spend with family and friends. Time to make plans ahead of time and not have to cancel. To achieve the plan of retirement. I want what everyone wants... life. Unfortunately I have to ask for it.

I want people to learn and understand that Kidney Failure is a silent killer. Control your diet, your high blood pressure, intake of ibuprofen. Please have awareness for us with kidney disease and register for deceased organ donation.

My family is my rock, but I have never been anything but positive. Negativity does not bring happiness. I know it sounds old and boring, but my life could always be worse. It is not ideal but I can get out and enjoy the day. Find something good and you will be happy and that really is all that matters. Start each day with a grateful heart.

I am 58 years old, married for 38 years to an amazing man, we have one daughter who is 32. My sister Lynn is my support for anything and everything. My husband, well I have loved him a long time. We are high school sweethearts and started dating when I was just fifteen. He has been by my side through everything and provided care for me when I could not. Our daughter was only 4 years old when I was transplanted and had been on dialysis for 18 months. He never hesitated to provide the support and care that was needed. My husband is my heart and soul. Without him life would be impossible.

You do not have to be the same blood type as Kim. The Paired Exchange program will match a willing and healthy living kidney donor with another recipient that has a donor match for Kim.

Learn more about The Christ Hospital Health Network Kidney Transplant Program here

For information about being a potential living donor for Kim call:


Patient Information:

Name: Kimberly Smith

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Date of Birth: 10/25/58

Donor Blood Type Needed: O, however a paired exchange is an option. This means that if you don't match Kim as a donor you can still help her by donating to someone else in need. Then they will find a match for her. Essentially you are helping save two lives.