My name is Linda Carter, and I NEED A KIDNEY. “My character is bigger than my circumstance.” This is my quote for my life as I struggle with Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease. I am 52 years old and a veteran educator of 27 years. My kidneys began failing in 2009 due to Type 2 diabetes, and I was diagnosed with Stage 5 (end stage) kidney failure in 2012. My blood type is Type O, and ALL blood types O could potentially be my match. IMPORTANT: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TESTED AS MY LIVING DONOR MATCH BUT ARE NOT BLOOD TYPES B OR O, YOU CAN STILL HELP ME!*** My transplant center participates in the paired exchange program. If you are willing to be a match for someone else who has a donor that is a match for me, both myself, and the other recipient would receive a life-saving kidney transplant! Please contact Emory Transplant at 855.366.7989. Let them know you would like to be tested as a match for me, Linda Carter – DOB 7/8/62.
Ten years ago, I modified my lifestyle by completely changing my daily food plan. I eliminated salt, red meats and carbonated beverages. I added much more exercise and water intake and began attending KidneySmart workshops. Despite my failing kidneys, I continued to teach and work towards becoming a principal by achieving an Education Specialist Degree (EDS). Unfortunately, the time commitment to continued education, educating my own students, managing my kidney disease and doctor’s appointments became unmanageable. In 2013, I had to set aside my aspirations to further my own education and focus strictly on teaching my classroom of students. My passion and love in life is teaching English Language Arts to 8th graders. My students are a diverse group of learners that are gifted, talented and some are being served in a co-taught special education setting. Our school is 100% free and reduced lunch, however, our students are some of the brightest, hard-working children in the county, and our school is recognized as a “School of Excellence”. Despite some conditions in their home life, students attend school each day eager to learn. I always do all I can to make learning interesting and fun. Our school motto is: “When you miss school, you miss out!” I strive to establish and maintain a safe classroom environment and “comfortable, home-like” atmosphere that allows students to feel safe to discuss and debate topics that will impact their life beyond the classroom. I supply students with extra pencils, erasers and even have an area known to my students as the “Lotion Station” for another added touch of home. If you look around my classroom, encouraging quotes can be found everywhere. A quote on the sides of the wastebasket reads: “I will get one task done today”.
I am a recently divorced, single parent of an extraordinarily focused, ambitious, and inspiring 30 year old daughter. My daughter, Dr. Taryne Michelle Mingo, was once a student at the very school I teach. She continues on the educational path as a full time elementary counselor in a different county, working with kids with similar demographics. My daughter is my number one supporter, and I am so proud of her accomplishments. I am proud to announce that my daughter is the first member in our family to receive a doctorate degree!
I have always been the “helper” in my family, my community, my church and school. During the 1980s, I became a caregiver to my 15 year-old brother as he was diagnosed with an unusual cancer. My responsibility was to speak to his doctors, and help my brother and family understand his illness. During his senior year, he understood that he would not graduate from high school. I became his advocate to attempt to get the high school to understand that children diagnosed with aterminal illness should be given a different tract for graduation. I was met with resistance, and my brother passed away in February of 1988. His local high school then decided to give my mother an honorary degree on the day of graduation. I then became a relative foster parent for a niece that was experiencing homelessness. This placement lasted on and off for more than 10 years. I involved her in dance, music and summer events. Each year, I choose two students to mentor. Currently, I am working with a female student whose 7 year old brother in is need of a kidney. I am linking with our school's family engagement specialist to find resources such as your organization to assist in finding a donor. I provide free tutoring on Saturdays to students for writing and reading skills. I also participate within my local church with many community planned activities and work with a retired teacher (in her 80s) in our tutorial center on Saturday mornings. I recently completed my pre-ministry training and would like to work with women going through or experiencing divorce.
Instructing and teaching has become difficult in recent times. My days always lasted longer because of my condition, and I had to modify my teaching around some of my symptoms. Finally, I recently underwent surgery to begin peritoneal (in-home) dialysis. I am currently placed on work disability without pay, as I walk through the never-ending, confusing path to receive benefits from my long-term disability carrier. I greatly miss teaching, my students and my position as a classroom teacher. I struggle with knowing that I am not in the classroom to help my students conquer the new state tests that replaced the old CRCT. I still grade essays at home, trying to give them feedback on their work. Most of my students are not aware of my condition and think I am of the class due to other reasons. I just did not have the heart to tell them about my true situation.
I teach my students to advocate for themselves when they need help. I had to direct that lesson to myself when I entered this stage of my kidney condition. A kidney transplant will change my life tremendously by giving me the opportunity to become well. I will be able to continue teaching and working with children in writing their own life stories. Receiving a kidney will relieve many stressful days of wondering about some parts of my future life. My brother and sister began testing but were excluded due to health conditions. I am reaching out in every way I know how to try to reach the person who could be my living donor match. If you would like to reach out to Linda personally or follow her Facebook Kidney Search page, please click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/253691388023937/908315269228209/#!/pages/Find-a-Kidney-for-Linda-D-Carter/1578543549064434?sk=timeline