Praise for The Reluctant Donor

More than ever, it seems we are looking for hope. We look for hope in our families, at our workplace and in the eyes of the people all around us. As soon as I started reading “The Reluctant Donor,” I knew I had found a special book that would restore faith in my belief about the goodness of everyday people. This book is a 60 – year long epic journey of triumphs and tragedies of a beautiful and inspiring family. Even more than that, though, it is a story of unbridled love one sister had for another, and how that love was tested. If you want to be inspired, simply turn the page.

~Sanjay Gupta, MD, CNN Medical Correspondent


There are those books that cause you to lie awake at night turning page after page because it is impossible to keep the book down. This is one of those books. The pages scream raw emotion. For anyone considering being a transplant donor, or just to get a better idea of kidney transplantation, you want to read a “real book.” All of the pamphlets in the world cannot give you what this book provides: a real sense of what it means to be a kidney donor and a kidney recipient. The courage, the fortitude, as well as the anxiety and fear: it is all in this book. Suzanne Ruff is a great writer and it shows with each and every page. I recommend this book highly!!

~Dr. Rich Snyder, DO., author of What You Must Know About Kidney Disease: A Practical Guide for Using Conventional and Complementary Medicine and Radio Show Host of Improve Your Kidney Health on the Voice America Health and Wellness Network.


For those who wonder how the battle with kidney disease impacts patients, loved ones and friends this book is an absolute must read.  Suzanne Ruff has demonstrated great courage by opening her heart and telling a true story about a test of faith and the challenges posed to health, dreams and livelihoods. You will be genuinely inspired by the triumph of love and hope over uncertainty. Just as importantly, you will be better prepared to extend your own love, compassion and assistance to those who bravely fight this disease everyday just to stay alive.

~Paul T. ConwayFormer Chief of Staff, United States Department of Labor; Recipient, Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Silver Medal; and kidney transplant recipient.


Great Book Club Read! So much more than a book about PKD!

~Amazon Reviewer 


I thoroughly enjoyed The Reluctant Donor, Suzanne has created a wonderful celebration of family and faith. With lots of heart and a little humor, she brilliantly tells a story showing the valuable gift we give to children when we share our spirituality with them. This book offers an emotional journey where love and faith conquer fear. I WAS INSPIRED!

~Ramona Holloway, Radio Personality 107.9, The Link & The Satisfied Life


Suzanne’s story is all too common among families with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This genetic disease takes its toll on multiple generations with heart breaking and devastating effects. The Reluctant Donor powerfully outlines the physical and emotional challenges of PKD. Yet, it also is the story of hope and advancement in the field of PKD Research, dialysis and kidney transplantation for those afflicted with PKD. Dave Switzer Director Marketing and Communications PKD Foundation (800) PKD-CURE

~Mary Ann Grossmann, St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Reluctant Donor is a work of love and of family.  Suzanne Ruff exposes her vulnerabilities to us as she contemplates donating a kidney to her sister.  The ravages that Polycystic Kidney Disease has had on Suzanne’s family is woven throughout the story.  This inspiring book personifies the human spirit, the importance of family and can serve as a reminder that we all have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life.

 ~Jill A. Panetta, Ph.D., Former Chief Scientific Officer, Polycystic Kidney Foundation


Wonderfully written, honest and sensitive.

~James P. Calvet, PH.D., professor, University of Kansas Medical Center


A wonderful celebration of family and faith. With lots of heart and a little humor, Suzanne brilliantly tells a story showing the valuable gift we give to children when we share our spirituality with them.  I was inspired.

~Ramona Holloway, Radio Personality 107.9 The Link


It’s unanimous. Our book club agrees that The Reluctant Donor is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does this well written, gripping story of a family’s triumph over tragedy, life over death resonate to the core of our will to save those we love, but gives PKD the audience needed to begin finding a cure. Along with giving her kidney, Suzanne has given organ donation a forum, and hope to those in need. This memoir is the perfect read for a book club, with so much to discuss.

~Pat Schmidt, retired science teacher

Balancing her intense fear of death from surgery with the love for her sister, Suzanne takes us on an emotional rollercoaster, recalling the loss of her mother and other close members of her family as she slowly and painfully comes to grips with the difficult decision she knows she must make. This book is a great read and I recommend it to anyone contemplating donating a kidney.

~Walter A. Hunt, Ph.D., author of  Kidney Disease: A Guide for Living


It was very insightful & honest. Everyone considering donating an organ, whether kidney or liver, should read this book. As a transplant coordinator, I can tell the potential donor what to expect but I’ve never been through the process or surgery.  Hearing from someone who has already done it can help alleviate the fears & doubts much better than I can.

 ~Maureen M. Vekasy, RN, CCTC, Clinical Transplant Coordinator, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute

I’m not always big on medical dramas but a few paragraphs into this book the reader discovers more: the story of close-knit family struggling to overcome the curse of a rare kidney disease. Very quickly I got caught up in the laughter, fear, anger and loyalty of this Irish-Catholic family from Chicago. You won’t forget them.

~Amazon Reviewer
This book is about more than organ donation—it is about courage, faith, and love, too. Anyone who enjoys reading memoirs about families and courageous people will enjoy this book. Many of Ruff’s relatives have been dealt a bad hand when it comes to kidneys, but the family has a lot of heart! And Ruff captures the reader expertly with her humorous and heartwarming stories about her memorable family.

~Debbie Pea, Poetress

An honest assessment that really puts in perspective all the decision making that goes into being an organ donor.   But the book is more than that – it’s a story about compassion, faith and family.  It’s inspiring.

~Cathy D. McGowan, Engineer