WILTON — Beckie Bowering likes helping people, so much so she is willing to donate a kidney to help someone who needs one.

When Bowering, a graduate of Dirigo High School in Dixfield, is not working she is volunteering for Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, Mt. Blue Sports Boosters or attending her 14-year-old daughter’s cheering competitions.

Her favorite hobby is being a mom and wife. She and her husband, together, have four children, three of them adults. 

Name: Beckie Bowering

Town: Wilton

Age: 41

Job: Customer service manager, Franklin Savings Bank, Farmington

What made you think about donating a kidney? Approximately 17 years ago while working at the bank, we had a customer that was receiving dialysis treatments several times a week at the VA hospital and needed a kidney transplant. Since we are a local bank we have a tendency to really get to know our customers. We knew his story very well and it was just natural for him to share the good news with us when he had found a kidney donor. I remember the happiness and sense of relief that he had shared with us and I vowed that I would someday pass that same sense of relief and wellness to someone else.

Was it a hard process to volunteer to donate? It was not hard at all. A little bit of paperwork and medical history to be completed. Then some questions and a bunch of testing, as well as several conversations to be sure that I knew exactly what I was getting into. My transplant coordinator, Heather Stephens, does all of the hard work and The Maine Transplant program takes care of all of the costs associated with the donation. Later on, when I am matched with a recipient, their insurance will repay 100 percent of the medical costs of the transplant. My insurance pays nothing.

How is your family feeling about what you are doing? They think it’s a very admirable thing to do. Of course they will be worried as there are risks involved with any surgery. However, they are all very supportive and know that once I get an idea in my head, there is no turning back.

Is there a lot of preparation to get ready? There is lots of medical testing to be done to be sure that you are donating a healthy kidney and not putting others at risk, as well as trying to minimize the risk that I will ever need a kidney transplant myself.

What do you expect to happen during the surgery? My surgery will most likely be a laprascopic surgery with a two- to three-day hospital stay. My kidney will be removed and immediately passed on to my recipient.

Are you nervous? Surprisingly, not at all. The medical world can work miracles nowadays. I’m actually very excited to be able to help someone in this way. I love helping people.

Is there a recipient waiting for the donation? At first I had requested to be a non-directed donor as I didn’t know anyone that needed a kidney. I am now looking into other options.

Beckie Bowering of Wilton is looking forward to donating a kidney to someone who needs one. (Submitted Photo)


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