Last February, Taylor Myers made a desperate plea for help to everyone she could reach: She needed a new kidney.

Then a junior speech pathology major/sociology minor with a 3.67 GPA, she was a majorette and active in her sorority. In the midst of juggling her responsibilities, Myers learned she was in kidney failure. She self-administered dialysis seven days a week while she waited for a kidney to become available. She hoped to find a living donor; to wait for a deceased donor would be a minimum of five years.

"By spreading the word, it will hopefully not only find a donor for me, but also encourage others to become a living donor," Myers said at the time. "The National Kidney Foundation website says that 100,000 people are awaiting a kidney transplant. That's just sad to think that so many people feel awful every day, but have to keep fighting."

With help from her family and friends, a donor stepped forward. Myers received her new kidney last August.

“I am doing very well, and my kidney is also working wonderfully,” Myers said.

She describes a “slight” setback that happened in late October/early November.

“I was admitted to the hospital due to a virus I had gotten from my new kidney. This happened because my donor had the antibodies to this virus, and I did not,” she said. “The immunosuppressant medicine I was on for my kidney gave the virus the opportunity to flare up inside my body.”

The virus morphed into Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder, a form of lymphoma. She began immunotherapy chemotherapy, and after four rounds of treatment, a PET scan detected no lymphoma. She started a second set of four rounds of chemotherapy, along with spinal taps with chemo injections.

She will complete this set of treatments March 1, followed by a bone biopsy and endoscopy to make sure all of the lymphoma is gone.

“I react very well to my treatments and feel overall amazing,” Myers said. “All of my kidney levels are finally in range, and my labwork all is coming back normal.”

A transplant isn’t a cure; rather, it’s the best treatment for chronic kidney disease, according to Myers. She will have to take medicine for the rest of her life, and the possibility of rejection will remain.

She continues to work with the National Kidney Foundation to raise awareness about kidney disease.

Myers is asking the campus community to wear green March 9 for Kidney Disease Awareness Day and to learn if they are at risk for developing kidney disease.

“There is a quick quiz with questions that determine if people fall into the 33 percent of the population most at risk for kidney disease,” Myers said. Along with indicating risk, the quiz, found at, provides information about how to minimize the risk.

“I’m so thankful for all of this, because it gave me a platform to advocate for living donations,” she said. “Hopefully others will now consider it.”