Cathie Maple, a teacher from Hilliard, Ohio, is returning to work after a year and a half away due to health challenges caused by polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Maple, who has battled PKD since she was 19 and has undergone three kidney transplants, will be teaching again in a Hilliard City Schools classroom. Her most recent transplant was in May, and she expressed a mixture of emotions, including fear and anxiety, but also determination and perseverance. Dr. Ashley Limkemann, the surgeon who performed Maple’s most recent transplant, praised Maple’s strength and joy as she experiences improved health. Both Maple and Limkemann hope that more people will consider organ donation, as it is crucial for transplant recipients to have the opportunity to return to their lives.
Maple is excited to resume teaching and looks forward to meeting her donor’s family in 2024. She described going back to work as feeling like a “first day of school” despite it being in the middle of the school year. She expressed gratitude for the support and the opportunity to work in a fabulous school district with amazing teachers and incredible students. Maple’s story highlights the importance of organ donation and the transformative impact it can have on the lives of recipients, allowing them to pursue their passions and find joy in their daily activities once again.