Adventures of a Kidney Donor

September 25, 2010

The Gift of Life: Inspiring Stories

I just love this picture. At first it looks sad but it”s actually a happy moment. This is kidney recipient Roxanne Boyd Williams meeting her donor Tom Otten. They were part of the largest altrustic kidney swap ever performed. There were twenty-six operations over six days at Georgetown and nearby Washington Hospital Center. Thirteen people received kidneys from strangers.

The exchange started with a 45-year-old Maryland woman (who wished to remain annymous) inspired by President Obama’s call for volunteerism. She said: “I just wanted to help someone out that needed my help, to give them a better life.”

Recipient Solomon Weldeghebriel said: “I cannot explain in words. I can raise my children now. He gave me life”. Two of his three children wiggled on his lap as he met his donor.

Donor Sylvia Glaser sums up my feelings too: “People keep wanting to know why, why, why…It sounds very trite but you pass through this world, and what do you ever do that makes a difference?” Yes! This is exactly it! I won’t make much of a splash in the world but at least I can do this.

This is another great picture of Tom and Roxanne.

Go to List of Resources on Kidney Donation


  1. Very inspiring, Anne! Thanks for sharing it.

    Comment by Carol — September 27, 2010 @ 12:21 pm |Reply

  2. Hi, this is the Tom Otten that is in the picture. I just wanted to let you know that my wife Irene and my recipient, Roxanne, are still doing great. So is my wife’s donor and her mother who was also a recipient. We are all healthy and very thankful for this miracle.

    Comment by Tom Otten — October 19, 2012 @ 6:09 pm |Reply

    • Wonderful to hear! This is one of my favorite donation stories of all and I just love the pictures of you and your donor. This is all miraculous. I don’t know who my recipient is, but I like to imagine him out there free of dialysis and enjoying life.

      Comment by anne315 — October 19, 2012 @ 9:07 pm |Reply

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