Early Holiday Gift
In December of 2014, Windsor, CA resident Lorene Romero donated a kidney to someone she had never met and knew nothing about. That was until May of 2017 when she heard from Mike Myers, a man who told her he had received his Gift of Life from her. The two met in person in early November when Mike came to visit the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mike received Lorene’s donated kidney at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore as part of a kidney chain facilitated by UCSF Medical Center. The chain was launched by Lorene’s gift and Mike’s brother-in-law donated his kidney to ensure that he could take part in this exchange.
Lorene is a Donate Life Ambassador with Donor Network West and, in the past year alone, has contributed nearly 40 hours of volunteer time. In the week she spent with Mike, they drove along the Sonoma Coast and visited the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. They also took the opportunity to promote the importance of becoming registered organ and tissue donors at the organization’s dedicated booth at the Windsor Farmers Market.
Mike, who resides in the state of Georgia, has experienced serious health challenges throughout his life, including losing his eyesight before the age of 5. Lorene’s gift is his third kidney transplant. Six months after receiving her gift, the transplant failed and he was placed back on dialysis.
“During our very first phone conversation Mike told me that, although I did not save his life, I changed his life forever. He is a wonderful man with a wonderful outlook in life. I am so glad to have him in my life; we both feel there was a higher purpose of why we were connected”, says Lorene.