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PKDF staff member Nicole Harr shares her reflection pre-transplant

Nicole Harr, Director of Community Engagement

Our own Nicole Harr, Director of Community Engagement, has spent the last two years sharing pieces of her journey as she’s prepared to receive a kidney transplant. Now, as the day of her surgery approaches, she shares her reflections on the journey and her anticipation for the road ahead with the PKD community:

In just 96 hours, I will have a new kidney and be recovering from kidney transplant surgery. My best friend will be on the same floor of the hospital recovering, too. We knew this day was coming for many months, but it is very surreal to think about the change that will take place in my life and in Sue’s in just four days If I am being honest, I am both nervous and excited. There is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with medical stuff for me and surgery is pretty high on that list. I am confident that all will go well but I have to admit that I am nervous. Everyone I speak to is so excited, and while I share in that excitement, my nerves are working overtime at the moment.

Nicole and Sue have been best friends and co-workers for many years

I have made many adjustments over the last few years to compensate for my failing kidneys and the fatigue that goes along with that. These changes have taken place over time and I realize that I am not completely aware of how “bad” I actually feel. To think about how I will feel after I recover from the surgery is hard for me to visualize. To combat the nerves that keep creeping into my thoughts, I am trying to concentrate on all of the things I want to do that I have been putting off because I just don’t have the energy right now. I have a list of projects to do around the house, things I want to cook! I haven’t done many of these things lately.

In the last few weeks, I have talked with many PKD patients who have received a kidney transplant. Their excitement and willingness to celebrate this day with us is contagious. I am grateful for the support, words of wisdom and encouragement that have been shared with me recently. I want to thank everyone who has emailed, called or texted to wish us well. I know I speak for Sue and for both of our families when I say thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and for all of the support we have already received. It is empowering to know that all of you will be with us as we continue our journey and take the final steps toward transplant.

Nicole and Sue greatly look forward to what they will be able to do post-transplant.

I have also spent some time thinking about how I can say thank you for this generous gift. I am confident that there are no words to adequately express my gratitude. I think that I can express it by living a full life and enjoying every minute this new kidney will give me and my family. While there have been many emotions and thoughts rolling around in my head as we get closer to transplant day, I am very much overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude. There will be adjustments to make and a new normal to get used to, but I am ready to leave fatigue behind and join the kidney transplant recipient club!


  1. Robin Strachan says:

    You have many people, including your colleagues, who love you and who are holding you close.

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Thank you, Robin! The support from my colleagues has been amazing and so appreciated!

  2. Colette Kiszka says:

    Hi Nicole!

    I am so excited for you and how blessed you are to have Sue as such a dear, dear friend.

    I, too, have talked with transplantees who marvel at how well they feel post transplant compared to how they felt pre-transplant. I’m also so proud of you that you kept working and fought through that ever-present fatigue. I feel that fatigue now in small spurts.

    Nicole, blessings to you and Sue and when I see you again you’ll have that brand new kidney!

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Thank you, Colette!

  3. Debra says:

    Wishing you both well! What a wonderful friend you have to give such an extraordinary gift! I just found out recently that my beautiful daightifuk is a match for me….I am overwhelmed with the same same emotions you explained. You will get through, you will feel better and have a beautiful life to look forward too!

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      I am so glad to hear you have a kidney donor. It is such a miracle and an amazing gift. I am two weeks post surgery and doing great! Best of health to you and your daughter!

  4. AndyH says:

    My “living donor” kidney transplant from 18 years ago is alive and well – well past the “average” of the time. The nice thing about the surgery is that you get to lay down and go to sleep – the surgeon and staff have to stay awake and standing! You do what you can before to get ready but, once in the “theater”, just count backwards!

    Having a known and designated living donor is great for scheduling and allowing you, donor, family and friends to have a “target” date to get psyched up for. And, you can easily contact the donor afterwards and talk to and thank her!

    Good luck and “see ya on the other side”!

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Thanks, Andy! You are correct, once you get there, they do all the work. Everything went great. I am recovering and getting used to the new normal. So grateful! My donor and I are binge watching favorite shows and enjoying spending time together while we both get well and recover!

  5. gayle strader says:

    Both Sue and you are on my prayer list.
    I feel sure you have wonderful doctors who will be successful in surgery. So many people are sending you positive thoughts.

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Gayle, we appreciate the prayers. Thank you so much for sending prayers and positive thoughts our way.

  6. Wishing you both all the best and for a quick speedy recovery. I was lucky enough to receive a kidney from my husband 4 months ago and can’t believe how much of a difference it has made to my life.

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Congratulations on your transplant. I am glad that you are feeling well. Thanks so much for the well wishes!

  7. Katie Harmon says:

    Nicole – we met you at the Kansas City PKD walk last September. You were so gracious and helped get us some much needed transplant information. As we are preparing for my husbands kidney transplant, your article has touched my heart and put to ease some thoughts of “are these feelings normal?” Thank you so much for sharing and wishing you a smooth recovery!

    1. Nicole Harr says:


      Absolutely! If you would like to chat, email me at the Kansas City Chapter at I would be happy to chat with you anytime. I will be thinking about your family as you prepare for transplant.

  8. Cathy Perkins says:

    Nicole, you know you and Sue have been very special people in my life. I wish you both total fast recoveries and healthy and happy days ahead. There will be so many of us thinking of you on transplant day. Get some rest and don’t push yourself recovering. Blessings to you both and your families. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  9. Kellie Wright says:

    Nicole and Sue!

    I am sending you both so much love, peace, courage, and speedy recoveries. Also, will look forward to hearing more about your experiences post surgeries. – Love and Health, Godspeed!


  10. Lia says:

    Best wishes Nicole and Sue for speedy recoveries! Praying for you.

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Thank you, Lia!

  11. Sue Ward says:

    Niki, have been praying for you, your best friend, Sue and for the surgeons that all goes perfect and your recovery is quick. God will be in that operating room guiding hands for both of you. Let His arms encircle you as you start a new normal for you with new health. Much love from me and Denny.

    1. Nicole Harr says:

      Thank you, Sue! We appreciate the prayers. We are both doing well and so grateful to everyone for sending prayers and well wishes.

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