Harvey Mysel, Founder – Living Kidney Donors Network (LKDN)
The LKDN is a non-profit 501(c)3 established in 2007 to educate people in need of a kidney transplant about living kidney donation and help them communicate their need to family members and friends.
Harvey is a two-time kidney transplant recipient. After proactively managing an inherited kidney condition, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) for over 20 years he had his first kidney transplant in February 2007. He was fortunate that his wife, Amy, was a compatible donor. Harvey contracted a rare virus, (BK Virus,) and in August 2012 had his second kidney transplant. He and his donor, Stephen Liegghio, who was introduced to Harvey by a mutual acquaintance, were involved in a 3-way kidney paired exchange.
Following his first transplant, it became clear that the programs in place to increase the number of living
kidney transplants were not reaching the people who needed it the most. In 7 of the past 8 years, the number of
living kidney transplants has decreased. Something needs to be done to change this trend.
Here are some of the programs that Harvey has facilitated since starting the LKDN:
- Harvey moderates the LKDN Workshops & Webinars, “Having Your Donor Find You.” Over 1,500 people participated in these programs in Chicago, Milwaukee, Houston, Michigan, California, Arizona and Boston.
- Facilitated patient workshop and trained the transplant alumni at St. Luke's Cooley Transplant Center in Houston so they could facilitate future workshops.
- Guest speaker for TRIO Leadership Summit 2011 – Presentation, “Following Your Passion, Making a Difference, One Life at a Time.”
- Guest speak at the North Shore United Methodist Church adult form discussing Living Kidney Donation and explaining how one non-directed kidney donor can save the lives of many people.
- Facilitated a training program for Beaumont Hospital’s peer mentors, social workers and nurses on how to present the living donation option to patients.
- Since 2007 the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois has invited Harvey to speak about living donation during their “Preparing for Transplantation” seminars.
- Presented “Making a Difference in Living Kidney Transplantation” to The Society of Transplant Social Workers at their Annual Conference. Those attending received CE credits.
- Fresenius and DaVita invited Harvey to present his training program to over 100 social workers.
- Guest panelist with Dr. John Friedewald & Dr. Joseph Leventhal of Northwestern Memorial Hospital on the WTTW “Chicago Tonight,” a PBS station to discuss the recent changes in living kidney transplantation.
- A PKD Foundation National Convention invitation since 2008 to be a guest speaker and moderator for their Living Donation Program.
- Wrote the cover story for the January 2010 issue of the AAKP, (American Association of Kidney Patients,) magazine Renalife, “It’s About Your Donor Finding You!”
- UNOS, (United Network for Organ Sharing) invited Harvey to give a presentation to their Transplant Coordinators Committee Meeting on Living Kidney Donation.
- Contributor for the PKD Foundation “Progress” magazine in the “Ask The Experts” column.
Harvey is a member of the Board of Directors for the international organization, TRIO. www.trioweb.org.
In addition to the work he does at the LKDN, Harvey is a tri-athlete, competing in a triathlon 5 months after his transplant. He is a Gold Medal winner in the 2008 Transplant Olympics and awarded 2 Gold Medals and a Silver Medal in the 2010 Transplant Games. Harvey is a bicycle rider, tennis player, bowler, hiker and rock climber.