Kidney Transplant Peer Mentor Program

The U-M Transplant Kidney Peer Mentor Program is based on the concept of looking to your peers to learn from their experiences. The mentors in the program are patients who have already successfully gone through transplant or those who donated a kidney. Many patients find it helpful and reassuring to talk confidentially with those that have first-hand knowledge about the transplant experience. Working with a Peer Mentor is optional and is offered to all transplant candidates, potential donors and their families during the formal evaluation process.

Benefits of Having a Peer Mentor:

Peer mentors go through specific training before they begin working closely with patients, donors and their families. They enhance patient care by:

  • Providing patients with guidance and emotional support through telephone calls, visits, mail or email.
  • Providing helpful transplant information to patients by sharing their own experiences from a peer perspective.  This one-on-one communication with another transplant patient offers both an individualized and highly personal account of the transplant process.
  • Helping patients work with the transplant team.
  • Providing support and encouragement to comply with taking prescribed medications.  Strict compliance with medications is critical to a positive outcome for transplantation.
  • Encouraging patients to stay active before and after transplant.
  • Answering questions and sharing their story at the Kidney Transplant Patient Education Class.
  • Participating in Transplant Expos at dialysis centers across Michigan and speaking with patients considering transplant or those currently on the waitlist.

Meet Our Peer Mentors

Meet a few of our peer mentors as they share their personal stories about transplantation, donation and their dedication to helping others along their journey. 

  • Transplant recipient William Hall, and his wife and living donor, Tracy Hall, share their personal story about transplantation and donation. Watch their video.  
  • Margo Klug shares her story about receiving a kidney transplant in 2015 and becoming a peer mentor.  Watch her video
  • Brandon Mistry is a 2017 kidney transplant recipient and now shares his experience as a peer mentor.  Watch his video.  
  • Maria Lehto shares her story about donating a kidney in 2019 and then becoming peer mentor.  Watch her video
  • Brian Martindale donated a kidney in 2013 and shares his experience as a living kidney donor and peer mentor. Watch his video.  
  • Larry Kloss shares his story as a kidney donor and peer mentor along with advise to anyone considering kidney donation. Watch his video.
  • Larry Stover donated a kidney in 2007 and shares his experience as a living kidney donor and peer mentor.  Watch his video.
  • Transplant recipient Rose Crane, and living donor Bev Guertin share their personal story about transplantation and donation.  Watch their video.