ST. JOSEPH'S HEALTHCARE HAMILTON TAP AMBASSADORS

michelle mackinnon for transplant ambassador program

Michelle Mackinnon

Michelle MacKinnon is a retired Montessori Teacher and a Fourth Degree Black Belt in the Olympic sport of Taekwondo. She is married to her husband Dave and is the mother of two sons, David and Andrew. Michelle is the Founder and current President of The David Gregory MacKinnon Memorial Foundation, a registered charity supporting renal patients, organ donation, families of medically fragile children and higher education. Michelle created this foundation in 2011 after the tragic death of her 18 year old son, David who died on the day she was to give him her kidney. Michelle's opportunity to give her son a second chance at life was lost but she vowed that day to donate her kidney to someone else in need. In March of 2015 when Michelle came across a Facebook post from another mother who was experiencing the kidney failure of her own son, Michelle couldn't let her healthy kidney stay with her anymore; she had to give it to this boy that she had never met. Michelle reached out to the mother and the hospital and the transplant testing process began again. The testing done for her own son, David would speed up the process and in just 6 weeks from initial contact Michelle donated the kidney meant to save David to another mother's precious two year old boy. He is now four and thriving. The thought of other living transplant recipients and donors sharing their stories through the Transplant Ambassador Program thrills Michelle. “Living Donors can save lives. When we share our stories we create awareness and spread education which allows Renal Patients and their families and loved ones to make educated decisions regarding their transplant options". michelle.mckinnon@transplantambassadors.ca