Karsten Weathersby was enjoying a carefree life filled with friends, sports, and video games when things suddenly began to change. He noticed his body growing weaker with each day until even walking short distances was nearly impossible. Just after his second year of college, Karsten was diagnosed with kidney failure. He remembers tearfully listening to his doctor explain the severity of his condition. Soon after, Karsten started dialysis.
After a few years of dialysis Karsten was placed on the national transplant waiting list. He faced several complications and required frequent doctor’s visits for tests and checkups. Karsten’s condition consumed his free time and limited his ability to participate in his friends’ lives. This became especially clear to Karsten when, due to his deteriorating condition, he had to decline the role of best man in his childhood friend’s wedding. Although Karsten felt confined and confused by his condition, he never lost hope.
One fateful night Karsten received the phone call he had eagerly awaited. He remembers, “my heart stopped. I knew this day was coming, but when it did it was a shock.” Full of nerves and excitement, Karsten rushed to the hospital to receive his long-anticipated, life-changing kidney transplant.
Today, Karsten passionately lives his life to the fullest. “I try to fill my free time with as much as possible because I know what it’s like not to have that time.” He knows that he is alive today because of another family’s loss and is forever grateful for their lifesaving generosity. Karsten plans to express his gratitude and “help out wherever I can to give back to the people that kept me going all those years.”