- Donor Search Champion for Her Husband
- Donor Search Expert Coach
Since 1997, Debbie has lived and breathed the world of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) as that is when her husband, Kevin, was faced with the sudden onset of kidney failure due to glomerulonephritis. They had only been married seven years when their whole world turned upside down.
Little was known about kidney disease in this era, so it was quite frightening. Though the disease had afflicted others, little was documented or discussed publicly.
Debbie began a kidney search after being waved off from donating herself and a deceased donor kidney became available after two years of intense dialysis. Kevin chose to accept what was referred to at that time as a perfect match—a six-antigen match.
A year after the transplant, they were introduced to the donor’s widow, and the three of them became close, a relationship that is still going strong. Then, 16 years later, they faced another kidney failure. Debbie began seeking a new kidney match, while her husband endured dialysis to save his life.
Mulligans Living Kidney Donors was essential in assisting Kevin in receiving a second transplant; 2021 marks the fourth year of his newly transplanted kidney. Debbie and Kevin were immensely affected by the support they received from Mulligans and wanted to give back to the organization.
Because of their arduous and often lonely journey, it became their dedicated mission to make a difference in the lives of others traveling this formidable road. Both want to make dealing with kidney failure easier for others by helping them navigate the healthcare system toward transplant and finding a living donor.
Ms. Parrish has over 40 years of business experience in marketing, finance, and operations business analysis. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, with an added emphasis in accounting, from the University of Louisville. Debbie also has an Associate’s Degree in Corrections from Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Law Enforcement. In addition, she is a Financial Coach with Ramsey Solutions and is proud to have been a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years; a former Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and a Junior Achievement Advisor. After retiring from a public utility after 40 years, she was not ready to sit around but instead wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Her primary passion and lifetime goal continues to be to serve in the world of kidney transplantation as a National Kidney Registry microsite coach.
Debbie also loves to spend time with her daughter, son-in-law, and much-loved three grandchildren. Her youngest grandchild has heterotaxy, a condition characterized by internal organs not being arranged as would be expected in the chest and abdomen, resulting in a single ventricle heart defect. Debbie loves to assist with his special medical needs.