Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Know a Woman Who Shines, Do You? #WomenWhoShine

When I heard about the Yahoo! Shine "Women Who Shine" nominations to celebrate real women doing extraordinary things, I knew right away who stood out in my mind.


I am really excited about this program because we probably all know someone special who deserves to be recognized. Don't let modesty stand in your way. Telling these women's stories is inspirational to all of us. Share and prove that one person can make all the difference. Yes, real women doing amazing things to change their community or the world. If our world was full of more people like this, think of what an amazing place it would be.

My life has been graced by many wonderful women, but there is one person I know who would never think of herself as extraordinary. Someone I have know for years and has always had a giving nature and a kind heart. I nominated Shanti Shoji.

On February 14th of this year Shanti became a living kidney donor for a complete stranger. Prior to this she didn't know anyone who had gone through organ donation, let alone a live organ donation. Her experience only extended to marking 'donor' on her drivers license. Her journey began after reading a friend's Facebook post back in June 2011. The friend was spreading the word about a man, Mike Trad,  who desperately needed a kidney. Shanti wanted to reach out and get tested. She felt strongly that she was destined to help in some way. After contacting Mike and explaining she was a blood type match she began the process of testing. Through an interview, medical history and other tests she was found to be compatible in several areas though not the best match possible for Mike. By the end of 2011 though, after other possible matches had been investigated, Shanti was contacted again to see if she was still interested. She was still committed to the organ donation and their journey continued until the successful donation earlier this year. 
Shanti became passionate about live organ donation through this life-changing experience. While many people die waiting for a transplant, getting a kidney from a live donor can extend the average length of success from the expected 10 years from a cadaver kidney to 18 from live organ donation. Passionate about a cause and compassionate for people, Shanti is an amazing inspiration for all of us, and a woman who, I believe, truly shines.

When I met Shanti, we were two Oregon high school student traveling to Japan for an exchange program. We met again during college and as we both interned at companies in Japan. She has always had a bright and shining personality. I was not completely surprised when she posted about being a live organ donor, it just made sense. She has always been a giving and loving person.

How could I not nominate her? If this story touched you, please head on over and give Shanti a vote.

So, who in your life shines? Who will you nominate? Nominate a deserving woman and she may win $10,000. Get your nomination in on the Yahoo! Shine site (shine.yahoo.com/women-who-shine/nomination). See the site for rules and restrictions.

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*Disclaimer - I was compensated for this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.
Andrea
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