Bernadette Artharee

I was 25 years old and 7 months pregnant with my son, Hasan, when I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. I needed a kidney transplant to live.

This is a hereditary disease that has plagued my family, including my mother and her siblings. For almost three years, while I waited, I received dialysis. The treatments, given three times a week, became my life. Dialysis wasn’t living, it was postponing death.

On March 24,1999, my "new birthday," I received a kidney transplant and regained my freedom! Someone blessed me by giving me a second chance to live.

Through transplantation, my life has been renewed, and I have the energy to enjoy life again. I soon became an active volunteer, targeting minority donors as well as kidney disease prevention. Now I’m a busy woman. I’m the president of our business and proud grandmother, as well as a loving wife and mother.

Donate Life Northwest urges people to designate themselves as a donor. Code your driver's license as donor, sign up on line at donatelifenw.org, or call 503.494.7888 or 1.800.452.1369 for a paper registry form. Please... share your decision with your family!