Amy Frackowiak wants everyone to know that a kidney transplant provides a new lease on life. She knows from experience - Amy has undergone two kidney transplants at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.
As a result, she is doubly committed to dispelling the myth that transplant recipients are limited in living their lives to the fullest. "Once you get a transplant," Amy insists, "you can do anything that anyone else can."
Amy was diagnosed at 16 years of age with IgA Nephropathy, a rare condition that attacks the kidneys. She received her first kidney transplant in 2009. The condition recurred, requiring her to undergo another transplant in 2018.
She has been so healthy since, Amy has gone global in raising awareness about organ transplants.
She just returned from the 2023 World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia, where thousands of transplant recipients, donors, and others involved in the transplant process gather to show the world that having a transplant offers a second chance at a full, productive, and inspiring life.
Amy competed in two team sports, volleyball and basketball, and also petanque, which is similar to bocce. “The experience was amazing,” she says, “I competed in the 40-49-year-old group and the competition was tough.” Amy did not medal this year but she has already set her sights on the next games in Birmingham, Alabama in 2024, Germany in 2025, and Belgium in 2027.
Her trip was partially underwritten by donations from friends and supporters, including two of her transplant surgeons from Baylor St. Luke's. "I was touched that so many people believe in transplant." Amy says. "Participating in the games is a great way to get patients active and involved after transplant and to keep their organ healthy."
Not only does Amy spend her personal time as an ambassador for organ transplants, it is her life's work. She is a senior kidney transplant coordinator at Baylor St. Luke's, where being a two-time recipient helps her connect with patients. "A lot of patients are nervous about the transplant process so my experience gives them comfort with what they are going through."
In Texas alone, there are 10,000 people on the organ transplant list. According to Donate Life Texas, 44% of adults in the state are not yet registered organ donors. For more information about organ donation contact http://donatelifetexas.org/