Michelle and I do similar jobs, writing both words and code for our separate news outlets. Our dual skills form an ill-defined newsroom role frequently called data journalism, which is a bland term for a diverse set of people, skills and interests.
Still, the small community of “news nerds” is strong and supportive. As active members, Michelle and I have many friends and peers in common, in addition to our jobs. Yet until the morning of the transplant itself, we had never met in person.
Ten years ago, Michelle was facing her first kidney transplant surgery after an autoimmune disease, IgA nephropathy, had weakened her kidneys to the point of failure. Michelle’s aunt, Karen Kwan, donated Michelle’s first transplanted kidney in 2006. Continue reading