Aveda Artists always inspire us with the ways in which they give back and go above and beyond. Aveda Artist Katelyn Lower from First Impressions salon in Fort Wayne, Indiana is one of these amazing generous spirits. Katelyn gave one of the most precious gifts one can give when she donated a kidney to her father one year ago this month.
Living with a rare kidney disease called IGA Nephropathy, Katelyn’s father Kevin received his first kidney transplant 10 years ago when Katelyn was a child. With the organ’s life prognosis of 12-22 years, Kevin was hopeful that he would not need another transplant anytime soon. However, in 2016 he learned he was due for a replacement.
“My father means the world to me and there was no question that I was going to be the second donor, and was waiting for the day to donate if he needed it,” Katelyn recalls. “I told him right away that he could count on my kidney to save him.”
After rigorous tests confirmed their compatibility, Katelyn and her father went through surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
“Waking up next to my dad and knowing he had my healthy kidney inside of him to keep him alive was one of the happiest moments of my life,” Katelyn says.