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Dana Clayton

Dana’s journey with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) started in 1994 with exhaustion and terrible back pain. Thanks to her living kidney donor, she's a whole new woman.

Before her illness, Dana Clayton had been living a healthy, pain-free life, but for the next 20+ years after her diagnosis, Dana’s health progressively declined. As she moved through Stage 4 and into Stage 5 kidney failure, she endured nausea, vomiting, anemia, infections, and constant pain. Her kidneys, covered with cysts, were oversized. And she barely had enough energy to get through each work day.

For many patients, being on the kidney transplant waiting list can last for years. The national average is 3-5 years. Dana’s mother, Debi, determined that would not be the case for her daughter. Dana says, “I was officially put on the list one day. My Mom sent an email out to family and friends the next day.”

Dana’s loved ones immediately responded to the call to action. Brad, the husband of Dana’s close friend Laura, volunteered to be tested right away. He rushed through the process with amazing speed, and then one day, Laura and Brad visited Dana at work to say, “It’s a go!” Brad, a veteran and a firefighter who lives to serve, was Dana’s perfect match.

On August 15, 2016 at Legacy Good Samaritan in Portland, Oregon, Brad Yoder became the living kidney donor and lifesaver for Dana.

Dana and her husband maintain a very special bond with Brad and Laura. Dana explains, “It is the most precious gift. It’s a selfless act of kindness. Brad gave up one of his kidneys to save my life.”

Today, Dana is once again living her active life. She says she’s, “Great. No pain. I am a new woman!”

As Dana continues to live out her life of health and gratitude her message to the world is: “You can’t take your organs with you – think of how many lives you can save!”