Bringing Awareness to Living Donation
Tracey Hulick is a plant-based ultrarunner who, at the young age of 12, became inspired to donate her kidney to a stranger.
Upon hearing a story of someone whose life was saved from a living donor, Tracey was also determined to save the lives of others, which she did in 2017 when she donated one of her kidneys.
This also led to her creating a nonprofit and global community at kidneydonorathlete.org, which, as she writes on her website, "Promotes the gift of life through living kidney donation among active individuals and athletes, by building a community that inspires, supports, and educates people about the experience of kidney donation."
As this episode drops in early March, Tracey, and 20 plus other members of Kidney Donor Athletes are in Tanzania about to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.
Today, she shares her story of how this uncommon seed was planted and how she had to endure a tremendous amount of resistance from those who she thought were her closest friends. She talks about her triumph when she returned to racing, and now her fulfillment of creating this resource for others so that they don't have to go it alone as she did. Life truly has come full-circle for this advocate and adventure-seeker.
Kidney Donor Athletes was born out of my love of distance running, and my desire to solve problems. When I was getting ready to donate my kidney to a stranger in early 2017 I was surprised by how little information was out there for athletes who wanted to be donors. Where were all the distance runners that donated and were able to get back to their competitive, pre-surgery shape?!
Since then I have found many examples that show that we’re out there, we just needed a common space to share our stories and answer potential donor’s questions!
I have made it a point to get outside of my comfort zone by sharing my story and actively being a living example of how life can be just as active and adventurous post-donation.