Jessica Smith, Donor Mentor

Jessica has been involved with ATF for 2 ½ years as a volunteer and as a founding member of the Transplant Leadership Council.

Jessica’s Transplant Story

About 4 years ago my dad was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and became very sick.  We were told that he would need a liver transplant and would be placed on the waiting list.  As a family, we were all shocked and deeply saddened by this and felt helpless.  When we found out about living donation, I knew right away that I wanted to donate part of my liver to my dad.  My dad is an incredible man who is loved by everyone who knows him and the thought of losing him was unbearable.

Our transplant was done at the Mayo Clinic and I never wavered on my decision.  I had the support of my family and friends and I put my trust and faith in the hands of the surgeons and I just knew this is what was supposed to happen.  I ended up donating 55% of my liver to my dad and I am beyond thrilled to say he is doing fantastic!  He is living his life to the fullest and cherishing every moment he has with his family, friends, and grandchildren.

Being a living donor has changed my life in so many ways.  I love to share my story and help educate others about the importance of being an organ donor and how one selfless decision can make such a positive impact on someone’s life.

What do you do for a living?

I am a Teacher Coach at a preschool in the Aurora Public School district.

What do you do for fun?

I love spending time with my husband and daughter, listening to music, and going out to dinner!

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy cooking and reading.

What do you do to stay active?

Going on walks and practicing yoga.  I enjoy keeping both my mind and body healthy!

What are your passions?

My family and friends, teaching, and of course organ donation.

Why did you choose to be a mentor?

When I decided to be an organ donor, it was important for me to talk to someone who had gone through the same experience and could talk to me in an open and honest way.  I knew that I wanted to have the opportunity to help support someone as they embark on their transplant journey.

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

I have been involved with ATF for 2 ½ years as a volunteer and as a founding member of the Transplant Leadership Council.

What about being a mentor appealed to you?

As a living donor, I can relate to the questions, fears, and anxieties that come up when one decides to become a living donor.  My hope is that I can provide the support and encouragement needed during the process.

Are you a donor mentor or transplant recipient mentor?

Donor mentor.

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?

I feel honored to be a part of the 1+1=Life Mentorship program!

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Sports Team? The Broncos and the Rockies.
  • Favorite Food? I love all food, but I especially love Mexican food.
  • Favorite or Dream vacation? My favorite vacation was when my whole family went to Playa Escondita and stayed in our own private bungalows.  I dream about going back every day!
  • Favorite Movie? Christmas Vacation…hands down!
  • Favorite Band? Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, all reggae music, and old school country.