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A note from Alyssa — Dennis’ kidney donor

Dennis is doing well and recovering at home. While we continue to celebrate this miracle of life, there are others who could benefit from the generosity of having a living kidney donor. Below is an inspirational note from Dennis’ donor.


Almost 4 years ago, I was a tattooless insecure girl who was never happy with herself and always worried what everyone else was thinking of her. So I always just did what I thought everyone wanted me to do and looked how I thought I was supposed to look like. Then my dad came home one day asking my mom for a divorce. My world was crushed. I was a month away from starting beauty school in Chicago.

During school I was a mess. Couldn’t really focus, had my ups and downs. Which was hard because this was my passion, and I wasn’t giving it my all. That following spring my really good friend from growing up passed away from Leukemia at 19 years old. A month after that my other good friend’s mom passed away, who was also my mother’s best friend. We were all so close and would hang out all the time, she was like a mother to me.

We were devastated. My mom and I would sit at home wondering why? How? Why was all of this happening to us and why back to back? We just couldn’t catch a break. As soon as we thought we were doing well we would get knocked back down.

Then moving downtown this year the very first friend I made here, just passed away a few months ago. I couldn’t believe it. She was so amazing and witty and full of life. Again, I was devastated. I sat there and just thought about all the funerals I’d been to in my life. Too many to count. All the families I’d seen missing their loved ones. There had to be something I could do one day.

Through these situations I learned some lessons about life.

What does that mean:
LIVE!!!! Do what makes you happy! Spend time with those who make you happy! And BE the person you want to be! Stop worrying about what everyone else is going to think.

We can’t just go through life alone. Be there for one another. Life is HARD. Times get TOUGH. Help each other! Help one another get further in life. Push each other to be the best we can be. If I wouldn’t have had my mom when I was going through hard times, idk what I would have done.

Put others before yourself in the right situations. Help the less fortunate. Give what you can to put a smile on someone’s face. Maybe even save a life 😉. My mom always has done random acts of kindness to strangers and has always thought of little things to make people close to her in her life happy. So I have followed in her footsteps.

DO IT! I promise you’ll have the best feeling inside you after you’ve done it. But when you do, don’t post it on social media. Then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

So, After learning these lessons, I changed the way I live my life. I discovered myself and who I wanted to be. I started to dress and look like I always wanted to but was too scared to. I got tattoos to represent my family and all the lessons I learned. I stopped being scared of death. And stopped with “what ifs”. I’ve already lived longer than some of my friends and family. I am so grateful I’ve lived to today. I can’t be scared to live my life because “what if this happens” or “what if that happens”. WHAT IF IT DOESN’T HAPPEN.?! I try and do good for people everyday. Whether it’s just a smile, the last dollar in my pocket, or now my kidney. Hahaha 😊

So this is why I gave my kidney to a stranger. I HELPED a person LIVE. There was no time for what if this and what if that, he didn’t have time for that. The waiting list in Illinois is 5-7 years. He didn’t have that.

The chances of something happening to me were so minimal. I would have more of a chance choking or accidentally poisoning myself than having something go wrong with the surgery. I can live a normal life with just one kidney, and some people are only born with one. Your life goes on.

I did it for all the families I’ve seen suffering for including my own. I did it for all my angels that I now have. I did it for his beautiful family which are now part of my own. I not only gave them more time with him, but also his friends, and all the people he comes in contact with everyday. How cool is that?!

The feeling I have is enough of a reason to do this. I always had it on my bucket list that I wanted to help a stranger in a really big way, and I never knew how. Now I realize that I had to go through all this in my life to learn and give meaning to what it was that I’d finally do. As soon as I saw the Facebook page for Dennis, I had an immediate feeling in my gut that this was it. I was going to donate my kidney, and I was going to SAVE A LIFE.

Now I just hope I can inspire some people to do more with their life. And hopefully inspire some people to become an organ donor wether it be when you pass away or living. We all have the opportunity to save a life or a few.

If you could, wouldn’t you?