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A Letter from a Family With5 Living Kidney Donors

By Suzanne Ruff, kidney donor, author of The Reluctant Donor and AAKP Treasurer

Kidney donor Suzanne Ruff, author of The Reluctant Donor and AAKP Treasurer, sent the following heartfelt letter to thousands of living organ donors, kidney patients, families, and medical professionals on May 19, 2023.

Her family has 5 living organ donors. She asked everyone to do their part to protect living organ donors by contacting their Congressional leaders and asking them to co-sponsor and pass the Living Donor Protection Act.

The response to Suzanne’s letter was swift and astounding! As a result, more letters were sent to the U.S. Congress on a single day than at any time in AAKP’s 54-year history!

Read Suzanne’s letter. Do your part. Write to Congress today and share this email with friends and family.

Together, we can make history. The time is now for Congress to protect living organ donors.

Act now at:

Dear Kidney Friends and Allies:

I saved my sister’s life by being the first living kidney donor in my family almost twenty years ago.

I know how emotionally hard it is to watch a loved one suffer from kidney disease.

Over 25 members of my family have, or have had, kidney disease. Among 10 people in my family, there have been a total of kidney transplants and one liver transplant.

We currently have five living kidney donors in the family.

Kidney disease is painful and heartbreaking. It is also one of the reasons why I became a patient advocate 40 years ago.

My decision to donate my kidney involved many personal, family, and financial considerations–and it is not an easy decision to make.

Every day, tens of thousands of Americans find themselves in similar situations, trying to decide if they can save a life while also protecting their livelihoods and financial stability.

They understand donating a kidney can save the life of a family member, friend, or community member. They also understand that, without new legal protections, they must carefully consider how their decision will impact their work, medical leave, and insurance benefits.

Sadly, and far too often, they make the tough decision to say NO.

Why? Because so many potential living donors have legitimate concerns about discrimination. The kind of discrimination that may threaten their job, current or future life, disability, and long-term care insurance.

Discrimination solely based on their decision to donate a kidney to save a life!

Discrimination against living organ donors is wrong. But together, we can end it.

Just 23 days ago, a bipartisan team of 10 U.S. Congressional leaders introduced the Living Donor Protection Act (H.R.2923/S.1384). The bill has been endorsed by living organ donors, kidney patients, the insurance industry, transplant professionals, and nephrologists.

People like us are raising our voices to our Senators and Representatives to support this bill. In just 23 days, 13 U.S. Senators and 71 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined as co-sponsors.

Can you please take five minutes – NOW – and send a quick letter to your elected leaders asking them to co-sponsor and vote for the Living Donor Protection Act?

The time is now to remove barriers to living organ donation.

By doing so, fewer Americans will have to make the decision against becoming a living donor because of job or insurance discrimination issues.

Please act now.

AAKP Treasurer
Living Organ Donor Author, The Reluctant Donor