August 17, 2017, 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT

Stepping up to the plate: What it means to be a living kidney donor

Being a living donor can change the course of another person's life. Especially when it comes to kidney disease, the need for living donors is huge. There are way more people who need kidneys than there are donors, and 4 out of 5 patients on the transplant waiting list are waiting for a kidney transplant.

man holding baseball

Heather Winfree knew how important getting a kidney transplant was for the health of her husband, Steve, after watching him spend more than a year on dialysis. She learned the facts about kidney donation, and got tested to see if her kidney was a match for her husband. In a video that has now gone viral, Heather reveals to Steve that she is a kidney match and is able to donate one of her kidneys to him, possibly by the end of this month.

Join AKF to hear from Steve and Heather about their journey, as well as Dr. Macey Henderson of Johns Hopkins, an expert in the field of living donation. This webinar will provide an overview of the risks and benefits of living kidney donation, as well as clear up any doubts or questions you, or your family members, may have about the process of being a kidney donor.

  1. Hear from a prospective living donor and future kidney recipient (Heather and Steve) about their experience with kidney donation so far.
  2. Understand the risks and benefits of living kidney donation.
  3. Understand the process of living kidney donation, including the medical evaluation, donation surgery, recovery, and follow-up care.


Steve and Heather Winfree

Steve and Heather Winfree

Steve and Heather Winfree have been married for five years. Steve has been battling kidney disease for 14 years and began dialysis just over a year ago.  Just recently, Heather found out she was a match to donate her kidney to her husband, Steve. Heather recorded a video of Steve as she revealed the news to him that she was a match. She created a custom baseball card as part of the surprise, and the video went viral overnight. Steve and Heather have been featured on ESPN, CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, ABC News, NBC Sports, Sports Illustrated, and People magazine for their video. They have recently been invited on the Harry Connick Jr show, as well as Kellie Pickler's talk show.

Steve and Heather are advocates for the American Kidney Fund and take this role very seriously. They are glad to use the platform they have been given to bring awareness to kidney disease and live kidney donors.

They should know a date for transplant in the coming weeks and are hoping to have the operation by the end of August, 2017.

Macey Henderson

Macey Henderson, JD, PhD

Macey Henderson, JD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Nursing at Johns Hopkins University. Her background in law, ethics, health policy and management support her research into the health outcomes of living kidney donors and transplant patients. She draws on the areas of health information technology, clinical informatics, media, communications, and implementation science to drive innovation and new technology to improve the lives of transplant patients and live donors. As a national expert in organ transplant policy and through her dedication and service to the national organ transplant network, Dr. Henderson actively develops policy and guidance related to the donation and transplantation of organs from living donors to recipients in the U.S. and serves on the Board of Directors at the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network / United Network for Organ Sharing.

Dr. Henderson is currently funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study living kidney donor outcomes, and is a recipient of the Rothman Early Career Development Award for Surgical Research to develop technological innovations in live kidney donor post-donation care management. Dr. Henderson recently received a Faculty Development Award from the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research (Hopkins CFAR) to lead a team to develop and implement informed consent processes for HIV+ living donor candidates under HOPE Act research protocols. She is also the principle of Kidney Space—a Facebook integrated health app designed to help patients and families learn about kidney disease and transplantation.