Michelle A.

Wisconsin, United States

Living kidney donor

About 6 years ago my husband found out that he needed a kidney. We took the tests and found that I was a good enough match! The transplant clinic almost didn’t let me donate. They were worried I would someday get diabetes and you really need 2 kidneys if you have diabetes! I promised them I would’t gain weight, so they agreed and I was able to give my husband one of my kidneys!

I gained 30 lbs within a year of giving my kidney. Suddenly keeping the weight off was even harder than ever! I was still mountain biking, hiking and going to the gym, but my normal ways of keeping the weight off were not working.

Then one day I was at the gym when I felt a pain in my shoulder. I didn’t realize it then, but I had torn a tendon. About 6 months later I was having surgery to repair the tear. My right arm was pretty much out of commission for almost a year. Another 6 months or so later and guess what? I tore the same tendon in my other shoulder. And would you believe me if I told you that the next year I tore a tendon in my right forearm? Well I did! I ended up having 4 surgeries in the matter of 5 years.

Of course you can’t mountain bike, swim or even use a lot of weight machines with arms that don’t work. During this time my blood sugars were starting to get worse. The last surgery was very painful and hard to heal from and it was during that time that I was told I was officially a diabetic.

Then came Covid. The transplant clinic told my husband that he has a 30% chance of dying if he gets the virus. So I do everything to social distance. I canceled my gym membership, and I try to work from home as much as I can. I’ve been feeling like a complete failure.

Then today someone told me about Peloton’s Comeback stories. “What if’s” started floating around in my head: What if I won a Peloton bike? What if I started exercising more like I used to? What if I was able to get my weight and blood sugar under control? What if… what if…what if...


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