Latest News
November 8, 2008

We need additional funds to cover medical expenses and ongoing medications. 

September 24, 2008

Follow up Article published in La Crosse Tribune

Thomas feels great and goes back to work.

Marilyn is doing cartwheels again.

August 28, 2008

We reached our immediate goal!  

August 6, 2008

Transplant is performed.

August 4, 2008

Check back for updates.

August 4, 2008

Article is published in La Crosse Tribune.

July 9, 2008

The date for the Kidney Transplant is set for August 6, 2008.

April 23, 2008

Thomas is awaiting major dental work. Date for transplant will be set after dental work is complete.

April 23, 2008

Marilyn is approved to donate her kidney.

April 2-4, 2008

Marilyn is tested at Mayo clinic. - Live Donations Tracking for Thomas Harris Transplant Fund - Make a Donation to Thomas Harris Transplant Fund

Credit Cards are Accepted

From: Larrisa Sondreal, Thomas Harris Transplant Fund Coordinator
Date: July 8, 2008


Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues,

The smile across Thomas's face said it all.

After almost 4 years, and just in time, Thomas Harris has found a kidney donor. Marilyn Levin has been tested and approved to “make a miracle happen” by donating her kidney to Thomas.

I’d like to let Thomas and Marilyn
share their stories with you.


Thomas HarrisHello. I’m Thomas Harris and I have Kidney Disease caused by High Blood Pressure. I’ve been on the waiting list for a donor for almost 4 years now. My sister was tested but she’s physically unable to donate her kidney due to a prior surgery. My son was automatically eliminated because he too has high blood pressure. I put the word out to state and regional networks but no one qualified to donate until NOW.

Over the last 4 years my kidneys have continued to deteriorate. I have been setup for dialysis and my doctors keep checking my bodily functions. Because I'm so close to receiving a transplant, the plan is to try to avoid dialysis.

It’s been a hell of an experience.

I have a lot of support from people who care. They’re praying for me.

My faith has a lot to do with this. I know I can’t control what happens, so I just let go and let God do the rest.

From the beginning I knew that God had someone already chosen for this generous gift of life.

In April, I saw Marilyn Levin give an “Igniting Passion, Power and Possibility” keynote presentation at Viterbo University. The White Privilege Student Awareness group brought her in to speak to students, faculty and the community.

I told her that I still needed a kidney and she said she’d go to Mayo Clinic to be tested.

Then, while I was attending a White Regional Privilege Conference in Massachuettees, Marilyn spent 3 days getting tested at Mayo Clinic. While I was working for justice at the conference, she was working for me…testing to give me the kidney I needed to live a long life.

Imagine my amazement when Marilyn told me she would give me her kidney.

I remember receiving the call, while I was at the conference, that she was approved by Mayo and she was ready to give me her kidney. I told my students after the call. It was a very emotional time for me. I really appreciate Marilyn. Her donation will save my life.

But, in order to go through the transplant process we need your help to raise the money to cover all the additional costs.

Your donation is greatly appreciated.

Thomas Harris

Thomas is the Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. In this role, he works tirelessly to: increase the enrollment and graduation of U.S. underrepresented and disadvantaged students and improve the quality of their educational and social experiences. In addition to this role Thomas serves as an activist and community leader in a wide variety of social justice issues, dedicating considerable time and energy to creating a just and accepting world for everyone.


“As of 2007, there are over 75,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant.” – The Wall Street Journal


Marilyn LevinHi I’m Marilyn Levin and I’m donating my kidney to Thomas.

I’ve know Thomas for a number of years through our collaborations in a wide variety of social justice issues. A few years ago, when I first found out that Thomas needed a kidney, I immediately said “I’ll give you a kidney.”

I was shocked at what came out of my mouth. It was very early in the process and his family had not been tested yet. So, he didn’t take me up on the offer at the time.

But, when I saw Thomas again, several years later, and heard that he still needed a kidney. This time he accepted my offer to get tested to see if I was a match.

Thomas is a wonderful human being, doing amazing things that make the world a better place. I want him around and active for a long time.

The testing was extensive. I spent 2 days in testing before I traveled to Mayo Clinic. Then I did 3 full days at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where they performed a comprehensive examination to determine if my kidney was right for Thomas and if I was healthy enough to donate. Then I completed the 2 more days of tests I couldn’t finish while at Mayo once back home in Austin, Texas.

Once I knew that I qualified to give my kidney I had to make the decision to give or not give. I did a lot of soul searching and learned a lot about organ donation. This was a great process for me to go through. There are infinite ways to help in the world and we all get to help in ways that work for us. I came to the conclusion that it would be an honor for me to give in this way.

Today, you can make an immediate difference. Your donation will make this transplant possible.

I wish to thank you in advance for your generous gift.

Marilyn Levin

Marilyn is a professional speaker and trainer, an award winning activist, and now an author of several books. She devotes her passion and talents to inspire personal and global transformation so that we can create a world that works for everyone and pass it along to future generations.


“Living Donors live even longer lives than the average person, primarily because of being so healthy to start with.”

For Thomas, the surgery involves about a week in the Mayo Clinic. Then he’ll be at the Gift of Life Transplant House with a fulltime care giver for 3-4 weeks so he can be checked frequently by Mayo Doctors.

Then Thomas will continue to recover at home for another 12 weeks. During all of this time he will be out of work.


Mayo ClinicMayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic Kidney Transplant Program is one of the 5 largest kidney transplant centers in the U.S. and most innovative in the country, performing more than 450 kidney transplants each year.

Mayo Clinic patients enjoy some of the best kidney transplant outcomes in the world, with excellent patient survival rates.


The Gift of Life Transplant HouseThe Gift of Life Transplant House

The mission of the Gift of Life Transplant House is to provide transplant patients and caregivers with high-quality, affordable accommodations in a supportive home-like environment.

In doing so, we help transplant patients achieve optimal recovery in a “home that helps and heals”.

Since 1984, Gift of Life Transplant House has been called "a home away from home" by transplant patients of Mayo Clinic Rochester. These patients have personally witnessed the hospitality, compassion, and friendliness of the people at Gift of Life -- and they regularly ask to stay here again upon return visits to Mayo Clinic.


For Marilyn, the surgery involves 2 days of travel, 4 days at Mayo Clinic and 3-4 days of recovery at the Gift of Life Transplant House.

Then she will be off work for 2 weeks and then half time for an additional 2 weeks in recovery.

As with most transplant patients, Thomas and Marilyn are now tasked with raising thousands of dollars in funds to assist in paying for expenses that aren’t covered by insurance.

The Thomas Harris Kidney Transplant Fund has been created to provide the financial backing needed to move forward with the kidney donation since neither Thomas nor Marilyn can afford to cover all of the extra costs associated with the process.

Thomas’s uncovered costs:

  • Dozens of trips to Mayo Clinic required during the pre-transplant phase and for at least a year after transplant

  • 12 weeks off of work (some are covered through vacation)

  • 3 to 4 weeks of housing at the Gift of Life Transplant House

  • Travel and housing for care givers (hotels, meals, gasoline, etc.)

  • Dental expenses required to remove infection prior to the transplant

  • Anti-rejection drugs and other essential medications he must take for the rest of his life to keep his new kidney healthy

Marilyn’s uncovered costs:

  • Travel to Mayo Clinic required for testing and the transplant surgery

  • 3-4 days of housing at the Gift of Life Transplant House

  • 3-4 weeks off of work for recovery

  • Travel and housing for care giver (hotels, meals, gasoline, etc.)

  • Follow up visit to Mayo 3 months after the surgery

Thankfully Thomas only needs one kidney donor and Marilyn fits the bill. But Thomas and Marilyn could use your help to make this process work. Without your donations, this process will be a hardship and a strain on financial resources.

We would like for YOU to be part of this kidney transplant, through your generous contribution. We greatly appreciate all contributions, large and small.

To show our immense gratitude for your generosity, we’ve put together appreciation gifts for each level of donation. And for each level, you get the appreciation gift from your level AND all of the appreciation gifts from the previous levels.

Donation Level

Appreciation Gift

Any Amount

We greatly appreciate any amount you can give.


"Profound Impact Activities" by Marilyn Levin


All of the above, plus

The Mental Diet PyramidSM – A Simplified System to Beat Stress and Live in Joy by Karen Wheeler Hall


All of the above, plus

"Fundraising From the Heart" Fundraising Training Manual by Lynne Twist 



All of the above, plus

"Beyond the Attractor Factor" Multi-Media Seminar by  Dr. Joe Vitale (contributor in the movie "The Secret")



All of the above, plus

Marilyn will provide half day of speaking, training or consulting services for FREE (with the exception of travel expenses) (Value $1000)



All of the above, plus

Cyndi Smasal will provide a comprehensive Internet Marketing evaluation of your current website and marketing activities implemented by your business or organization. (Value $2000)



I hope we can count on you to help. Please send the most generous gift you can, as soon as possible.

With grateful appreciation,

Larrisa Sondreal

Larrisa Sondreal
Thomas Harris Transplant Fund Coordinator

P.S. Thomas and Marilyn need your help now! You can make a difference when you make a donation. Thank you in advance for your support.

P.P.S. Remember, all the appreciation gifts are worth more than what you donate. Please give what you can at this important time.

P.P.P.S. We have reached our immediate goal. However, Thomas will need anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life. Additional expenses have come up. We are accepting donations to pay for these expenses and provide for Thomas's ongoing medication expenses.

Please help us in this time of need. - Live Donations Tracking for Thomas Harris Transplant Fund - Make a Donation to Thomas Harris Transplant Fund

Credit Cards are Accepted

Donations are made through PayPal, the trusted leader in online payments.
PayPal helps protect your credit card information with industry-leading security and fraud prevention systems. When you use PayPal, your financial information is never shared with the merchant.

If you would rather mail in your donation, please send checks

Made out to: Thomas Harris Kidney Transplant Fund

Mail to: Larsi Sondreal
W625 Jewett Road
Bangor WI, 54614


Website & Internet Services Donated by Cyndi Smasal