Can Transplanted Organs Change You? Do Cells Have Memories?

birthmarks and scarsSince I started writing this blog in September of 2007 I have posted nearly 200 entries on a broad range of subjects related to organ donation and transplantation.  Among those blogs are several about a phenomenon called “Cellular Memory.” 

 Simply defined cellular memory is a theory that suggests certain cells of the human body can act like mini-brains and store information which can be passed on to other people via organ organ transplants.  The result, according to the theory, is that transplant recipients can and often do display many of the personality traits of their donors.

There are a lot of resources available should you choose to further explore this phenomenon and one is, the wise Geek (  Here’s what they have to say.

According to some theorists, the cells of the body retain memories independently from the brain. This phenomenon is known as “cellular memory,” and it has attracted a number of supporters in various communities around the world. Many scientific authorities dispute the concept of cellular memory, arguing that phenomena which are attributed to cellular memory probably have more prosaic explanations.

The idea behind cellular memory is that cells can store memories about experiences, sensations, taste, habits, and other core aspects of someone’s identity. Promoters of the theory believe that these memories are stored through the exchange of chemicals between cells, just as they are stored in the brain. Theorists believe that cells may also be able to store information related to traumatic experiences.

This idea was popularized as the result of a number of anecdotal stories involving organ transplants. All of these stories involved recipients who adopted new habits after transplant, or who claimed to remember experiences which had not actually happened. Some people suggested that these events could be explained by cellular memory, as a result of donor organs influencing their recipients. Others suggested that they might be the result of chemical changes in the body caused by transplant medications.

Like many theories which are largely dismissed by the conventional medical establishment, the idea of cellular memory has not been rigorously tested in controlled studies. Supporters of the theory often reject such studies because they argue that they are flawed because of their connection with “the establishment,” while many skeptics are unwilling to embark on studies to disprove a theory which they already think is wrong. This rather short-sighted attitude is unfortunate, as it might be interesting to conduct large scale scientific studies to get to the bottom of the claims.

My blogs on the subject have gotten scores of comments, here are but a few.  As the saying goes…”we report…you decide.”

Tina writes:

I had a Kidney transplant almost a year ago and though I did not know who my donor was I agree with the statement of it being highly probable “overhearing” information from Medical Staff right before and during surgery. However, I can tell myself time over time that I have not changed any since my transplant and I would be forced to call myself a liar as well. Why else would I be looking up cellular memory topics?

Truth is even though I feel like myself most of the time people I socialize with are continuing to tell me “I act different, my personality changed, and even I’ve noticed the difference in food diet, likes, and interest, but isn’t that true of anyone? Changing with age? I also can not say if I believe or not in cellular memory or if it’s a combination of other attributes or all of the above but I have changed a little, some think I’ve changed a lot.  That brings me back to my first reason of why this might be- even though I was not to have information about my donor not even their gender I did however overhear small bits of information about him enough to perform my own research into the local obituaries for that time frame and narrowing the search with those small details and turning up with a 87% probable match for the criteria. After-which considering the person I found could be my donor, I began looking up recipes and coneural imagesoking food that I think he would like…. And enjoying every last Bite.

Kay posted this comment;

I am a kidney transplant recipient. My donor loved wine. Now I love wine. Drink it every night the last three years since my transplant. Any thoughts? I’ve been seeking answers.

Another Tina writes this:

You can scratch your head all day wondering if it’s possible? But I can tell you it’s real!!! My husband had a heart transplant 5 years ago. I saw little changes and could tell something was bothering him. About a year after transplant he finally opened up and told me what was going on. He knows how his donor died, he saw what came for the man, and the demons still unnerve him today! He has horrible night mares reliving this creature coming for the donor. We do not know who the donor was, but I assure you I can tell you the names of his loved ones.

I know this is hard to believe , but when you are living it, you know how real it is. Sunday we will be married 34 years, I know this man and I know what he is experiencing is real!!

Here’s what subscriber Greg had to say:

Here’s an interesting excerpt you might find useful (or not) unfortunately scientists rarely research obscure things like this.

“All mental fluidal powers are stored as firm and remaining information in all cells of the body. The information of the mental-block is stored within seconds in all of the body’s organs and in the entire cell system, whereby an organic and a cellular memory is created. If an organ is used for transplant, then the entire cellular and organic memory is transplanted as well. This means that the transplanted organ transfers all of its mental vibrations, energies, powers and information into the recipient’s entire body — even into his or her brain and consciousness. This also means that characteristics, wishes, hopes, fears, fright, horror, panic, addictions, sympathy, joys, etc. as well as behaviors are transferred…”

Have you ever heard of the Placebo effect? I’m sure you have, it’s a real testable effect that the psyche has on the entire body. But if you think about it a little deeper than that the psyche actually affects every cell in your body, then the above excerpt doesn’t really sound all that crazy.

The opposite of the placebo effect is called the nocebo effect which has negative effects on the cell, and this is also based on people’s beliefs.

It’s really not that hard to believe that organic cells hold the memories of the people who they belong to. When you consider that cells respond to our beliefs, there’s no other way to describe that then as a form of cellular memory.

So far the placebo effect hasn’t been attributed to any quantum mechanical effects as far as I’ve read, but quantum mechanical effects are present everywhere and constantly even if they are imperceptible to us.

I do think that one’s beliefs can change the outcome of a transplant, how much someone is affected by the transplant probably has a lot to do with their personal beliefs and their sensitivity towards those mental fluidal powers.

From Sue:

I, too, can atest that after receiving a Kidney and a Pancreas Transplant 8 yrs ago at the age of 40, I have found that I have “inherited” many likes and dislikes from (my random) donor. Weird things like my donor must have not liked “mint” foods and could not stand the sight of raw meat. On the other hand she must have really liked “french-style” green beans…lol I am very interested in learning more about this phenomenom.

Donna wrote:

I had a liver transplant 2 1/2 years ago & live with the joy and intrigue of this phenomenon (sp?) daily. My changes are food preferences, greater – much greater love of children & music. I am far more talkative and rather quick to express my opnion which I would have kept private before surgery. But best of all the young woman whose beautiful smooth pink liver I received must have sincerely been a very joyful & positive woman. And I love her.

I have no info on her and did not hear back from her family so I can’t absolutely tie these changes to her or simply my jubilation to have been blessed with the miracle of her life-saving gift. Please inform your immediate families of your wish to donate should that decision have to be made.

thank you.

From Ang:

I had 2 kidney transplants. First was from a biker who died in a motorcycle accident but I grew up around bikes so it never occurred to me. This 2nd one however I am starting to wonder because my body is acting like I am the age of my donor (61). I have slowed down a lot, and hate pop and only drink warm drinks like hot tea. I hate ice cream and am no longer a huge chocolate fan like I used to be. I also am gaining a lot of weight not related to the medication like the first one as this is more like my body is slowing down on burning calories. No matter how well I eat I still am steadily gaining even with stopping Prednisone.. In one year I have went up 4 sizes.

For more information about Cellular memory you might find the Skeptics Dictionary an interesting resource.

Have you had an experience with Cellular Memory?  We sure would like to hear about it.  Comment here or send it to me


Bob Aronson of Bob’s Newheart is a 2007 heart transplant recipient, the founder of Facebook’s nearly 3,000 member Organ Transplant Initiative and the author of most of these donation/transplantation blogs.

You may comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be an organ and tissue donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

Please view our new music video “Dawn Anita The Gift of Life” on YouTube  This video is free to anyone who wants to use it and no permission is needed. 

If you want to spread the word personally about organ donation, we have another PowerPoint slide show for your use free and without permission. Just go to and click on “Life Pass It On” on the left side of the screen and then just follow the directions. This is NOT a stand-alone show; it needs a presenter but is professionally produced and factually sound. If you decide to use the show I will send you a free copy of my e-book, “How to Get a Standing “O” that will help you with presentation skills. Just write to and usually you will get a copy the same day.

Also…there is more information on this blog site about other donation/transplantation issues. Additionally we would love to have you join our Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative The more members we get the greater our clout with decision makers.

En Espanol

Puede comentar en el espacio proporcionado o por correo electrónico sus pensamientos a mí en Y – por favor, difundir la palabra acerca de la necesidad inmediata de más donantes de órganos. No hay nada que puedas hacer lo que es de mayor importancia. Si usted convence a una persona de ser donante de órganos y tejidos puede salvar o afectar positivamente a más de 60 vidas. Algunas de esas vidas pueden ser personas que conoces y amas.

Por favor, consulte nuestro nuevo video musical “Dawn Anita The Gift of Life” en YouTube. Este video es libre para cualquier persona que quiera usarlo y no se necesita permiso.

Si quieres correr la voz acerca de la donación de órganos personalmente, tenemos otra presentación de PowerPoint para su uso libre y sin permiso. Sólo tienes que ir a y haga clic en “Life Pass It On” en el lado izquierdo de la pantalla y luego sólo tienes que seguir las instrucciones. Esto no es un espectáculo independiente, sino que necesita un presentador pero es profesionalmente producida y sonido hechos. Si usted decide usar el programa le enviaré una copia gratuita de mi libro electrónico, “Cómo obtener un pie” O “que le ayudará con habilidades de presentación. Sólo tiene que escribir a y por lo general usted recibirá una copia del mismo día.

Además … hay más información sobre este sitio de blogs sobre otros donación / trasplante temas. Además nos encantaría que te unas a nuestro grupo de Facebook, la Iniciativa de Trasplante de Órganos Cuantos más miembros que obtenemos mayor será nuestra influencia con los tomadores de decisiones.


About Bob Aronson

Bob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.

Posted on June 25, 2013, in Cellular Memory and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. There is no definitive evidence one way or another that cellular memory exists. I can only speak for myself but I had a heart transplant almost five years ago and have absolutely no change in my personality or lifestyle at all. I am more appreciative of life than ever before but I think that might be true of anyone who was dying and had their life saved by a total stranger.


  2. I am writing this in response to several comments on the subject of Cellular memory, a topic upon which I have written a great deal.

    I agree that anecdotal evidence is as good as no evidence but, there are enough stories of cellular memory to make one sit up and take notice. I do wish a serious, long term study would be funded to determine if there is any validity to the phenomenon at all.

    I had a heart transplant and have made it quite clear when writing about this subject that I don’t perceive any real changes in my behavior, tastes or attitudes but then I don’t know who my donor was either. I remain a skeptic but a curious one.


  3. Collecting stories to validate a hypothesis is a risky business. Stories of transplant recipients that don’t seem to exhibit memories from their donor don’t prove that they aren’t there but those stories are selected out anyway. Stories that do seem to exhibit donor memories don’t prove cellular memory but collecting a bunch of them could lead one to see a pattern that isn’t really there. Collecting such stories may simply prove that the researcher is good at confirming his or her bias . The validation process becomes more complicated when one considers that many organ recipients will give in to magical thinking and “feel” the presence of the deceased donor within them. The recipient’s subjective validation may be driven by a desire to prove the belief or to please the donor’s family, the doctor, or a medical attendant who may encourage the belief. Furthermore, now that the idea of cellular memory is being promoted in books and on television (the Discovery Health Channel, for example), there will be a problem of making sure that stories aren’t contaminated.


  4. This idea was popularized as the result of a number of anecdotal stories involving organ transplants. All of these stories involved recipients who adopted new habits after transplant, or who claimed to remember experiences which had not actually happened. Some people suggested that these events could be explained by cellular memory, as a result of donor organs influencing their recipients. Others suggested that they might be the result of chemical changes in the body caused by transplant medications.


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