Kidney Transplant Recipient Creates "The Organ Donor Awareness Drive" at City Park
"Oftentimes, we wait for our opportunity to “be the change” to make a huge impact on people’s lives. What many don’t realize is that you can make that impact with...[o]ne selfless, noble, and charitable donation [that] will ripple out further than the mind can imagine, touching the hearts of many and saving the lives of many more".
from left, two visitors, Cameron Boissiere-Morris, and nurse Cydney Evans
Cameron Boissiere-Morris, a City Planner for the City of New Orleans, recently started The Organ Donor Awareness Drive once a month at City Park. At the Drive, Cameron and volunteers from the community offer instant blood typing to those who donate at least $10.00. They provide blood typing kits that deliver results in less than a minute and have medical professionals at the drive assisting with the process of performing the blood typing. The Drive offers take-home kits for donors who already know their blood type and want to bring them for those at home.
Once a month the Donor Awareness Drive aims to engage the public to
Raise awareness of the need for living donors.
Educate the public on kidney health, kidney failure, and kidney donation.
Provide the opportunity to learn personal blood type so they can decide better for their own health and donation.
Fundraise for post-transplant patients to help pay for life long anti-rejection medication and other unexpected expenses associated with post-transplant care.
At 17, Cameron was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy, a condition that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A settles in the kidneys. The doctors told her that she might experience kidney troubles in her 40s unfortunately, Cameron found her kidneys failing at the young age of 24. Over the course of four years, Cameron underwent peritoneal dialysis treatments which she had to conduct every night for eight hours.
As an End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patient, Cameron desired to bring attention to the need for living donors because she knew firsthand the struggle of finding a living donor. After successfully recovering from her transplant, she was more inspired to start the Donor Awareness Drives. Cameron's had her family and friends help her with the Donor Awareness Drive and together, they're working to help at least 500 transplant recipients by raising $500,000.
Cameron on the importance of sharing donor donations said "Altruistic donations give more than just an organ; one kidney can restore numerous lives, giving countless individuals a second chance to live their best, full life. One kidney donation can give a young person twenty more years, years to be filled with milestones, memories, and the precious moments that so many take for granted.” From left, Cameron Boissiere and her father Terence Morris, Cameron Boissiere and cousin Rylie Schexsnyder
"I know a living donation may not be right for everyone — but at the very least I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation. I am hopeful my efforts will help alleviate the financial burden organ recipients face post-transplantation and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the waitlist".
Cameron speaks to drive visitors
Throughout her journey Cameron was able to become a stronger person, emotionally and mentally. She was able to learn discipline as she managed her day-to-day life, which included graduate school and working multiple jobs, as well as keep up with her nightly dialysis and medication regiment. Cameron adds, "My kidney journey made me a more compassionate person, as I came to understand that while we all have our own struggles and burdens, not everyone’s struggle is visible on the surface. I choose to approach people with a deeper level of compassion because it’s impossible to know what strangers are dealing with [by] a first impression".
The next Donor Awareness Drive will be at City Park on April 30th. You can follow the Donor Awareness Drive on Instagram @highestgoodfoundation for specifics on location and time!