How I Honor My Donor

Valen-and-Sally-square_FBActions speak louder than words. A mere “thank you” to my living kidney donor, Sally Robertson, seems inadequate as I’ve been afforded the past 13 years and 8 months of living because of her decision to donate life. I choose to thank and honor Sally by the way in which I lead my life:

  • I treat others with kindness and compassion
  • I treasure the simple pleasures in life and strive to make the most of every precious day
  • I take pride in caring for our priceless kidney and my health
  • I handle health challenges with as much strength and grace as possible
  • I have used her gift to help others along their journey by sharing my story and my efforts to raise awareness of PKD, organ donation and the vital need for kidney research

My hope is to set a positive example of how miraculous organ donation is and how fulfilling one’s life can be after receiving a transplant.

NDLM-2016_FacebookAd_with-WebsiteApril is National Donate Life Month, and this month, especially, I want others to experience the power of giving the gift of life and to realize that they can make it possible by being an organ donor.

Thank you, Sally! You have given me the chance to grow and blossom into the woman I am today. Your gift not only changed and saved my life, but also had a positive impact on my family and everyone connected to my journey. You gave me a beautiful field of hope and endless opportunities. Today, and every day, I honor you, Sally, and your gift of life.

Sally & Valen

Please join me in making life possible for others by signing up to be an organ donor today at

I also encourage you to participate in Blue & Green Day on April 15! To learn about the Facebook photo contest, visit

donor dayDid you know that today is the first Organ Donor Registration Day in California? This #DonorDayCA is brought to you by the mighty sunflower.

“Sunflowers, like organ donors, have the potential to give life. Each sunflower’s face contains as many as 2,000 seeds that can create an entirely new field of flowers. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and heal countless others with tissue donation.” Learn more at

Have you received the gift of life? If so, how do you honor your donor? Please share below!


  1. Kathryn Scott

    I was blessed with a amazing co-worker, who by her selfless act of kindness, donated a kidney to me 11 months ago. I will never be able to express my gratitude for her precious gift of life. Thanks to all the wonderful living donors and families that make it possible for those that suffer from kidney disease to continue to live life on bonus time rather than borrowed time.

    • Valen Keefer

      Beautifully said Kathryn! I share your same sentiments! Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on receiving a transplant 11 months ago! Here’s to many more healthy years with our precious beans! 🙂

  2. Karen Fitzgerald

    Hi Valen!

    It’s been a while since I’ve visited your site. At first I didn’t have a response to your question, as my donor hasn’t donated yet. :-). He was approved in December, but because we have different blood types, I will be part of a paired exchange chain. In answering your question, I honor my (hopefully soon to be) donor by maintaining my health and attitude. It has not been an easy ride, however it has been educational. I have been on dialysis for over seven months now, and every day I feel grateful that I am still here, and I know that someday I will look back on my experience with awe.

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Karen,

      Great to hear from you! Congratulations on having a donor to participate in a paired exchange chain, exciting!!! Do they have an idea on timeframe for your transplant? Thank you for sharing how you honor your soon to be donor. You are doing a great job and I can’t wait to hear from you when you are feeling fantastic after your transplant. Yay!

      • Karen Fitzgerald


        Your enthusiasm gave me a boost! They told me one month to a year–I’m at the three month marker. I’ll keep you posted.

        Hugs back,


        • Valen Keefer

          Hi Karen,

          So glad I could provide a little boost! Tick tock tick tock….hoping it happens sooner than later. Until then, hope your health stays stable and your spirits strong.

          Take care!

  3. joseph ruscito

    The feeling it must be to literally save someone’s life, I cant imagine the feeling. I do know I would do it for any loved one or anyone for that matter in need. To live your life in kindness making the best of everyday is the key; for after all how do you say thank you to the ultimate of gift. I too am a recipient soon to be 2/23/22, and search for a way to say THANK YOU!

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Joseph,
      Wishing you all the very best with your upcoming transplant. I strive to thank my kidney and liver donor through action – by the way I live each day with passion, positivity, and purpose. Cheers to the gift of life!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email