Versiti - Carmen Gundlach | Impact Stories

Carmen Gundlach

“You’re helping other people when you can no longer be here.”

Carmen Gundlach

Carmen Gundlach was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in 2007, which causes the nephrons in her kidneys to become scarred, impeding their health. After years of special diets, managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and carrying and delivering two children, her health was at its limit.

In 2019, doctors told Carmen that she was in kidney failure and was put on the transplant waiting list. A coworker began the process to become a living kidney donor, but when COVID-19 hit, everything came to a grinding halt. In May 2020, Carmen got the call she’d been waiting for: a kidney from a deceased donor was ready for her. “My transplant’s been phenomenal; it’s working well,” she says.

Now, Carmen is an advocate for organ and tissue donation, as well as blood donation, from which her son Rowan has benefited. “It saved my life, and blood and platelets saved my son’s life,” she says. She encourages others to consider becoming organ and tissue donors.

“You’re helping other people when you can no longer be here,” she says. “I’m even registered as an organ donor, because I’d like to donate whatever I can when my time is up.”

Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list.

Approximately 113,000 men, women, and children are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. One organ donor has the power to save up to eight lives and change the outcomes of someone’s world forever by giving them a second chance. Additionally, tissue donation can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gifts. You can make a huge impact by registering as an organ and tissue donor.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation, or register as a donor at


Impact Stories | Organ & Tissue Donation

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Juan Rodriquez
Because Juan was an organ donor, when he suffered a severe stroke, he was able to donate his organs and save somebody's life.
Judges Derek Mosley and JoAnn Eiring
In 2014, Derek was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Already his colleague and close friend, JoAnn got tested to see if she could donate her kidney and save Derek’s life.
Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
Learn more about how to sign up as an organ, tissue and eye donor and how organ donation saves and enhances lives in our communities.
About Blood Donation
Donate blood, donate plasma or donate platelets at a blood donation center near you or a blood drive near you. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
Share Your Story
Versiti invites you to share your story and photo to help encourage more people to give back. You may even be featured throughout the year on our social media.
Impact Stories
Your blood, organ and tissue, and other donations directly impact lives in your community. Read a few of the examples of some of the lives that have been changed for the better.