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When I decided to donate my kidney, it wasn’t much of a decision-making process, but more like a tap on the shoulder.

I read a newspaper article about how kidney donations help desperate families, and I thought about my late husband. He died from ALS in 2014, and it would have meant the world to me to have more time together when he was healthy. The thought of prolonging another family’s time with their loved one really stuck with me. I thought, “I can do that,” and I called a transplant center the next day.

Even though I’m a doctor, I initially found the process of donating confusing and disorganized. After a series of twists and turns, I finally wound up working with Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, about 580 miles from my home in rural Unaka, North Carolina.

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