Erin Rollman, Donor Mentor

Erin is a non-directed living kidney donor, living in Denver, Colorado. She gave the Gift of Life in August of 2013 to an anonymous recipient living in Virginia.

Erin’s Transplant Story

After watching a friend in kidney failure receive a lifeline, I decided that I shouldn’t be walking around with a spare kidney when there are so many people who need it. I was involved in the National Kidney Registry, a paired donorship program that facilitates highly-compatible matches around the country, often resulting in chains of life-saving donations. I do not know my recipient. All I know is that he was 13 at the time of the surgery (August 2013) and lives in Virginia. I technically also know that he has someone in his life who was willing to donate their kidney in “exchange” for the one that he got from me. This set off a chain of 9 kidney transplants.

Everything about my donation was exceptionally easy. Further, I would say that, while I do not take lightly the impact that my decision made in many people’s lives, it is not central in defining me. To be honest, I rarely think about it. I understand this kind of decision being life-changing, but the truth is that it wasn’t for me. I am an example of living organ donation being completely non-disruptive.

What do you do for a living?

I am part of a non-profit theater company that creates off-beat all original work.

What do you do for fun?

What I do for a living is what I do for fun.

What are your hobbies?

Seriously, maybe I like my work too much, but it’s pretty much my biggest hobby as well. When I’m not creating stuff at work, I’m creating stuff with friends.

What do you to stay active?

In addition to being very active at work, I like to dance.

What’s are your passions?

Living a full life.

Why did you choose to be a mentor?

If I can help to make someone else’s journey easier, I am more than happy to do so.

What is your involvement with ATF? For how long you have been involved?

My main involvement is in this mentorship program, which started in early April, 2014.

What about being a mentor appealed to you?

Obviously I care about living organ donation so that is probably the top appeal. However, I also think I may have a different perspective on it–we probably all do–and having a diverse group of donors and recipients as potential mentors is important.

Are you a donor mentor or transplant recipient mentor?

Donor mentor.