After Conger donated her kidney, she had to stay one night in the hospital, while Ouellette had a two-to-three-week stay.
“Before the whole process, I knew that Cameron was going to get my kidney, and then going to the hospital to see him when my kidney was in his body was a totally different feeling,” Conger said. “Seeing him in the hospital was great.”
Once the track opened, and he was healthy enough to attend races, Conger sat with Ouellette during intermissions. When Conger returned to school, the two continued to keep in touch through text messages, particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic.
“He would give me updates on his blood and how he was resuming back to normal life, which was always wonderful to hear,” Conger said. “I’ve just been checking on him and seeing how he’s doing. Our relationship is strange, it’s like a complete stranger is now part of the family.”
Conger’s selfless act restored normalcy for Ouellette.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation presented a check to Conger for $2,500 with the funds earmarked to Donate Life Vermont, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of organ, eye and tissue donation. Conger also donated $500 to the organization as one of the five award finalists.
“I just hope I make my community proud, and my parents and my brother proud,” Conger said. “It’s a reflection on how they raised me and how my mentors and past coaches helped shape me. I’m grateful for the impact they made on my life.”
Additionally, Conger also volunteers with Team IMPACT, Girls with Power Tools and her college’s on-campus hub for prevention, education and awareness of domestic and dating violence.
“I just wanted to make a positive impact in the life of others,” Conger said. “It gives women a chance to feel confident and empower themselves, that they can stand out and make a difference.”