Wisconsin woman climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about kidney donation

NOW: Wisconsin woman climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about kidney donation

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - One Milwaukee woman is getting ready for the trip of a lifetime this week as she raises money for a good cause.

Kathryn Kamm leaves for Tanzania Monday to climb the tallest mountain in Africa.

"It was sort of on my bucket list for a number of years," Kamm said.

Kamm will climb Mount Kilimanjaro over the next week and a half for a cause close to her heart.

"We really want to promote living organ donation and show what's possible post donation," she said,

Kamm will hike up the 19,241 foot mountain with Kidney Donor Athletes. More than 20 kidney donors from across the world are doing it with her.

"Kidney Donor Athletes is a Facebook group and that's kind of how we met up and connected," she said.

Kamm donated her kidney more than four years ago after hearing about a man in his 20s who was suffering from a rare disease. Her donation saved his life.

"I thought if anyone who I loved needed a kidney and my family wasn't a match for them I hoped somebody else would step forward," Kamm said.

Bobby McLaughlin lives in Washington and is the president of Kidney Donor Athletes. This will be the group's very first trip together.

"We quickly saw it as an opportunity to share our message with the world from the roof top of Africa," he said.

McLaughlin said there are a lot of misconceptions about kidney donation. Kidney Donor Athletes started in 2018 and hopes to change people's perspective.

"Collectively, the power of our message that you can donate and go do activities whether it's something like this or some other crazy activity or just carry on with your life as it is," McLaughlin said. "I know prior to my donation, I didn't even know you could donate."

Kamm and the other donors will summit Mt Kilimanjaro on March 10 ,which is also World Kidney Day. They will be climbing to new heights to help save lives.

"There's a hundred-thousand people on the kidney waiting list and 13 people die every day waiting for a kidney. It's a resource we all have," Kamm said.

Kidney Donor Athletes is also raising money to spread awareness about kidney donation. They hope to raise $150,000, and so far have raised more than $135,000.

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