Rob donated a kidney in 2004, to a stranger named Robert F Hickey.

I decided to become a kidney donor because I was faced with a choice to save a man or walk on by. I used a website called MatchingDonors. I used online resources to research and once ready, I started the testing.

I suffered no financial setbacks. My recipient paid for expenses that made it possible. Most was covered by insurance. It was a privilege to miss a little work to save a life.

 I spent many hours of consideration until one day, I realized that it was my destiny. I felt that I found this path for a reason and looking back, I would never trade the experience for anything.

I even went on to advocate for others so that they too can experience what it is like to be a living donor. So in a way, I continue to donate through others by helping them prepare. Right now, I am awaiting the thumbs up on three separate transplants. So I continue to live this process to this day. I only took time away to fill this out and show support for this cause in raising awareness for those who are touched by kidney disease.

If I were to give advice to someone considering living donation I would say, it’s not going to be easy. Life won’t pull any of the usual punches just cause you’re doing something special and heroic. Life might even be more unfair than usual but it’s just a test of your resolve. You’ll find out things about yourself and that’s OK. It’s good to know who you are and don’t be afraid to ever know more about that person you see in the mirror each morning.

Donating a kidney is a journey that takes a life of its own. It’s a quiet miracle and you won’t receive a medal but it is the greatest gift you’ll ever give yourself; to save a life instead of walk on by.

Becoming a living kidney donor really made me who I am. I got to become me. After you donate a kidney, do not think that it’s OK to give up. You have a chance to follow through and tell others what it was like and spread awareness. The struggle continues and this area needs its warriors to stay here and lead the others.

Rob started a Facebook group to support those connected to kidney disease.

"My goal for this site is to help educate people about organ donation, living donors, and how to navigate the murky waters of transplantation. If you are new to the subject of organ failure and could use the support and advice of others like you then you have arrived."

Click here to view the group page LivingDonorAwareness

Location: Lenoir, NC