Life With One Bean
I’m Kim Constantinesco, a proud living kidney donor (hence, now I live a life with “one bean”), health advocate, speaker, writer, children’s author, and former competitive snowboarder.
I’ve gone from sports journalist to digital health content strategist in my professional life. I’ve gone from big mountain snowboarder to long distance runner—even with one kidney and a cadaver bone in my neck— in my personal life.
While I live with one bean, I know firsthand that there’s not just one life within one lifetime. My goal is to show others the same.
In December 2020, at the height of Covid and long before vaccines came out, I masked up and voluntarily checked myself into a NYC hospital to donate my kidney to a stranger.
In a time when we couldn’t share hugs or handshakes, I realized that I could share a kidney. During a time when so much life was lost, I wanted to give life.
I thought that my “job” was done when I climbed onto the operating table. Really, that was the start of the story. Just four days after donating, my kidney clotted and died, putting my recipient, Jamal, a talented Broadway performer, back on the transplant list.
At first, I thought, how could this happen? It makes no sense. Then, I realized that not everything has to make perfect sense in order to be perfectly right. My donation put momentum in place for Jamal to receive the best possible kidney for him. He got his new kidney nine months after the failed transplant thanks to another stranger stepping up.
I’m humbled that my hand-in-hand walk with grief while trying to find Jamal a new kidney captivated the kidney community and beyond. I believe it was my willingness to reach out to strangers that led to Jamal getting a beautiful working kidney and landing back up on stage.
Today, I live a Life With One Bean (a life with one kidney) and want to show the world that simple acts of kindness—even between strangers—can put momentum in place and keep the charge alive to make a profound impact.
Since donating a kidney, I’ve shared my story with national media and New York State senators to help pass the Living Kidney Donor Support Act so that living organ donors can be reimbursed for expenses and transplant education can be guaranteed for both donors and recipients.
Follow my Life With One Bean on social media and beyond. Or, book me to speak at one of your events.