Long before I was a kidney donor–and well before I knew that my son had a kidney disease–I was a writer and an editor. In fact, if we go back really far, before my son was even a gleam in my eye, I worked on my City College newspaper, the CCNY Campus, where I met my husband, Neil Offen. After college, I was a country music magazine editor and writer before my husband and I moved to France, where our son was born. For nearly a decade I wrote freelance articles on French actresses, dining, travel, and other topics, which appeared in Esquire, Vogue, Family Circle, and the International Herald Tribune; several were syndicated worldwide.
When we came back to the States in the mid-80s, instead of returning to New York City, we moved to Chapel Hill, NC, where our daughter was born (after living in Provence for several years, we’d grown partial to a warmer, more laid-back way of life). As a book editor, I enjoyed a wide range of genres, from outdoors books to scholarly publishing. I later worked for 15 years at an independent research institute, where I edited mostly health-related materials for a lay audience.
After my kidney donation, I wrote an occasional op-ed on the subject, but retirement has allowed me more time to devote to being a donation advocate. Now I talk to legislators about supporting kidney patients and living donors, as a National Kidney Foundation Kidney Advocacy Committee member; speak informally, as a UNOS Ambassador and a WELD (Women Encouraging Living Donation) Ambassador; and give talks at NKF workshops, transplant center programs, Donate Life exhibits, Rotary Clubs. And, of course, I work on my book (The Greatest Gift: The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation).
Contact me at email@example.com