Theresa Levering with friend, Cheryl Blackburn

This year April 7, 2021, has been designated Donate Life Living Donor Day. It is a day to thank all living organ donors for their life-saving generosity. It is also a day to help draw attention to the importance of organ donation to help save lives.

Theresa Levering is the vice president of human resources at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. In 2008, she donated a kidney to a childhood friend, Cheryl Blackburn. The pair grew up together in Nokomis, graduated from Venice Middle School, and Venice High School and have remained close friends since fifth grade. Theresa says, “Once my friend was told she needed a new kidney, I knew I would offer to donate mine. My father had been living with one kidney for 20 years, and I knew you could function just fine with one kidney. The process to be a donor was very thorough and was paid for by Cheryl’s health insurance; it was at no cost to me. The surgery for both of us went very well and the donated kidney is still healthy and thriving for my friend. Doctors Hospital was very supportive of me and my time away from work to prepare for and have the surgery. Please consider registering to be a donor—you could truly save a life!”