Kelly Schmidt & Rok Hyon

Kelly Schmidt & Rok Hyon
Philadelphia, PA
Living kidney donor and recipient

When Kelly Schmidt suddenly lost her mother in December of 2007, she felt as though the loss had nearly swallowed her whole. However, the loss made her aware of the gift of life given through organ donation, and she found a purpose that helped her cope with grief.

“It was really hard to say ‘why me’ when the answer was right in front of me,” says Kelly, when asked about the lives her mother saved through organ donation. “I love her dearly, but they needed her even more than I needed her.”

Kelly has remained involved with the Gift of Life Donor Program and volunteers to share information and support others going through similar experiences. What took her commitment to the program even further was when she decided to be a living kidney donor to Rok Hyon, a friend of a friend in end-stage renal failure.

As Kelly explains, she’s not sure why, but she felt it was her calling to help Rok. “I felt very strongly that I was destined to do this; that Rok and I were destined to be in each other’s lives; that my purpose was to save his life.” To this day, Kelly and Rok share a brother and sister bond, and their families have also become family.

An organ donor’s story goes on and on. So can yours. Register today to change lives tomorrow.