A local Boulderite Kate Lacroix finds her calling by saving a life.
Hearts beat. Lungs inflate. Each organ is responsible for its vital role it plays in keeping you alive. But what happens when one of those organs fail?
For Kate Lacroix, 42, life is good. Self-employed for more than ten years, Lacroix can be deemed as a successful business owner.
It wasn’t until Lacroix decided to check in on an old friend that she realized she was about to make a decision that would change her life forever.
Lacroix’s relationship with Masa Holle started while Lacroix was studying at the University of Colorado. Holle was her private therapist; someone who Lacroix would go to when her life seemed to be spiraling out of control. Holle gave her a toolbox of skills to navigate the world.
“I carried those things with me, and I feel like her teachings saved my life over and over again in ways both big and small,” says Lacroix.
Lacroix logged onto Facebook to reconnect with Holle but offered to donate her kidney instead.
“When I saw the Facebook page ‘Kidney for Masa,’ I instantly got the chills,” said Lacroix. “I knew I had to do it.”
Unfortunately, Lacroix and Holle were not matches. Holle gained a kidney from a 19-year-old woman in Maryland who also decided to voluntarily donate her kidney.
But that didn’t stop Lacroix.
“I know my kidney went to someone in Ohio,” says Lacroix. “But in my mind, it went to Masa.”
According to Lacroix, donating her kidney was meant to be her goal in life.
“Everybody has their ‘thing’ in Boulder,” says Lacroix. “I don’t climb 14ers. I don’t do Ironman challenges. This was meant to be my thing.”
After surgery, Boulder jeweler Todd Reed brought a dream of Lacroix’s to life, what started off as a health and safety measure turned into a work of art.
“As I was going under, I was thinking about needing a medical bracelet,” says Lacroix. “So of course I managed to turn that thought into fine jewelry.”
Upon waking up, Lacroix reached for her phone to text Reed and explained her vision.
“The stones represent the living organs I have left to donate. The gemstone that was scooped out represents my donated kidney,” said Lacroix.
Currently, Lacroix is working with legislation to pass a law providing tax compensation for organ donors.
“I don’t want my message to only be about organ donation,” says Lacroix. “Do something that surprises you.”