Our Stories

Vadrien's story

If you were given the opportunity to save a life, what would you do? When Sophia Jackson heard that New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer Vadrien Alston needed a new kidney, Sophia decided to become a living donor to get Vadrien off dialysis and back on her feet.


In 2020, Vadrien received a devastating diagnosis: renal failure. Twelve years earlier, she had received a kidney transplant from a close friend, but, unfortunately, it didn’t last forever. The NYPD officer and mother of two had to put her life on hold and go on dialysis.


Through a contact with the National Kidney Registry (NKR), Vadrien got to share her story at a televised press conference. Sophia, a New York City native but bound for Utah at the time, saw Vadrien on the news and decided that she wanted to help.


Sophia got tested to become a living donor—only to find out that she wasn’t a match for Vadrien. Fortunately, the story didn’t end there. Thanks to the NKR’s Standard Voucher Program, Sophia was able to donate to another recipient on behalf of Vadrien so that another donor who was a better match would give their kidney to Vadrien.

Quotation marks
"It was like coming home and telling my family I’d won the lotto. That’s how I felt that she still decided to donate just for me. Even if it couldn’t benefit me directly, she was still willing to help. It was one of the best feelings that I’ve ever experienced."

Vadrien Alston
Two-time kidney transplant recipient

Sophia’s selfless act of kindness not only saved Vadrien’s life, but also impacted another transplant recipient who had been waiting for a matching organ.


Finding a compatible match is crucial, as it significantly lowers the chances of organ rejection. Blood and tissue typing tests determine whether someone is a compatible donor, but since there are a lot of compatibility factors, it can often be difficult to find a match.

Quotation marks
"We need to normalize living organ donation. Someone’s life depends on it. People always ask ‘why would you donate to a stranger?’ My answer back is always ‘why not?’"

Sophia Jackson
Altruistic kidney donor on Vadrien's behalf

The NKR has created multiple systems like the Standard Voucher Program or the Paired Kidney Exchange to increase patients’ chances of receiving compatible kidneys and allow more people to become living donors.

Altruistic living donors like Sophia are invaluable in keeping the donation chain going to help save lives.

If you’re considering becoming a living donor, sign up by using the link in the button below.

Say "YES" to donation!


You can give the gift of life to help someone like Vadrien. Learn more about living donation or visit the National Kidney Registry.