Versiti - Kimberly Hill | Impact Stories

Kimberley Hill

“It’s hard to put into words the gratitude I have for my donor’s family and the decision they made. I want them to know that I’m living my best life and ensuring their gift doesn’t go wasted.”

Kimberley Hill

Running has been a part of Kimberley Hill’s life for as long as she can remember. “I love it; it’s my passion,” she says.

In 2016, Kim was on a 20-mile training run when a car ran a red light, nearly hitting her. Kim jumped out of the way just in time but came crashing down onto her knees. “As a long-distance runner, you learn to push through the pain. So, I continued my run,” she says.

Two years later, Kim was running a 5K when she felt something in her knee pull and start to swell. After an MRI and exploratory surgery, her orthopedic surgeon, Michael Gordon, MD, determined she had a large hole in the cartilage of her kneecap. After eight weeks, Kim was still in pain, and Dr. Gordon determined she would need a tissue transplant to repair her knee.

On January 24, 2019, Kim underwent surgery, during which she received a cartilage transplant. “Recovery was 10 months long. My knee was the size of a bowling ball,” she says. “It took a really long time for me to notice a difference in how my knee felt; I was in tremendous pain for the first month of surgery. I had to learn how to use my knee again.”

During this time, Kim began self-medicating with alcohol to manage the physical and mental pain she experienced. She’s proud to say that in September 2019, she got sober and took her first run post-surgery on November 2, 2019. “After that, I trained myself to be a morning runner,” she says. “I needed something to chase. Now, that is what I live for. It’s a chance for me to be grateful for my donor, for life, for everything, with the sunrise.”

It took Kim some time to reconcile the fact that her second chance at life was because someone else lost theirs. “I know that my donor was 18 years old. I took that to heart,” she says. “In a way, it traumatized me knowing I had somebody so young help me. You’re grieving for somebody you don’t know.”

If Kim could speak to her donor’s family, she would want them to know just how much she appreciates their generosity. “First, I would say thank you for giving me such a precious gift and for giving me my life back,” she says. “Running is what keeps me balanced in life, and it keeps me sober. It’s hard to put into words the gratitude I have for them and the decision they made. I want them to know I’m living my best life and ensuring their gift doesn’t go wasted.” 

Now, Kim shares her story in the hope that it might encourage others to join the organ and tissue registry. “I am on the list to be a donor. I have been, even before all of this happened,” she says. “It’s always been something I’ve been very passionate about. It saves lives, but it can change lives, too. It gave me my life back.”

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

Michael Gordon, MD
Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician Michael Gordon, MD, often uses donated tissues to restore his patients’ mobility and get them back to doing the activities they love most. He encourages people to learn more about what donation might mean for them.
Tommy Bigwood
In the early hours of Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, Thomas “Tommy” Bigwood experienced cardiac arrest and was given no hope of recovery. His mother, Kim Cobb, made the decision to donate Tommy’s organs and tissues, and Tommy gave his heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and corneas to help others.
Daniel Perelman
Daniel Perelman was 18 years old when he donated his heart, liver and both kidneys following a fatal plane crash. Now, his family keeps his memory alive by encouraging others to donate blood, do good deeds for others, and consider becoming organ donors.
Annette Washington
At just 20 years old, Robert’s life was tragically cut short when he was shot by his father. His mother, Annette, honored his wishes and donated his bone, skin, tendons, ligaments and veins so that he could improve the lives of others.
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.