Nadine McNeal

"Besides working for Iowa Donor Network since 2005, I have been personally touched by donation both as a recipient and as part of a donor family.  

I come from a family of 5 siblings—all girls.  I am number 5.  In 2009, my number 2 sister lost her fight with breast cancer and cervical cancer after a 2-year battle.  While we were gathering to celebrate her life, my number 3 sister informed us that she too had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Wow, what a blow to our family!  She went through surgery and treatment and surgery again, but now 6 years later she is considered cancer-free.  

In February of 2015 I was also diagnosed with breast cancer.  The only reasonable treatment option for me was bilateral mastectomy.  My first thoughts were to have no reconstruction done because of my previous knowledge of what my sister went through with expanders and additional surgeries after the original mastectomy, etc.  Boy, have things changed.  Because of a generous gift from a donor family, I was able to have reconstruction done during the original mastectomy surgery.  My surgeon used AlloDerm, which is made from donated skin tissue, to wrap the implants to reduce chances of infection, reduce chances of rejection and promote healing.  Instead of multiple surgeries and extra time off of work, I was able to return to work in 4 weeks with no additional surgeries.   

Fast forward to January, 2016 when my father-in-law passed away.  Because of my involvement with donation, my mother-in-law made the decision to allow my father-in-law to become a donor.  He was able to donate skin.  This decision has brought much comfort to my family."

-- Nadine McNeal, Tissue Recipient

Our Vision:

All are inspired to donate life.