Organ donor: 'What if you could be the perfect match?'

Rachel Summerlin, left gave Jasmin Williams a kidney when she realized that she she was sick. Photo taken on Wednesday, March 29, 2018.(Photo: HELEN COMER/DNJ)
In six drivers' services centers across Tennessee, employees will ring a bell and give you a round of applause if you register to be an organ donor when getting or renewing your driver's license. Donate Life Tennessee hopes it will help bump the percentage of Tennesseans who are donors -- 38 percent -- closer to the national average. About half of Americans are registered to be organ donors. Wochit

When Rachel Summerlin found out a fellow camp counselor needed a kidney, she didn’t think twice when she offered her own.

“For me, it was a no brainer. You only need one when it comes to your kidneys,” said 27-year-old Antioch resident, who donated her kidney to Jasmin Williams of Smyrna six years ago. “She needed it, I had one, and you only need one. … It was that simple.”

The young women were both living in West Tennessee when they met two years prior to the transplant. Both were staff members of Tennessee Teen Institute, a youth leadership development program.

They didn’t know each other well until they became bunk mates during a weekend retreat for staff members in November 2011.

“I saw Jasmin doing dialysis and that’s when I told her I would give her my kidney,” Summerlin said. Continue reading

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