Called to Give, Blessed to Receive

Terry’s husband needs a kidney.  Terry is a friend of my sister-in-law, and she is beginning the search for a living donor.  Read her comments to my blog posts of April 21 and May 25 to learn more.

This is not for everyone.  I believe it is a calling from God.  Is it possible that one of you reading this is being called to consider donating a kidney for Terry’s husband?

The day I donated my spare was one of the happiest days of my life.  To say that sharing a kidney is a rewarding experience is an understatement.  You know how when you experience something great, you want to share it with others?  Well, I want to share this experience with one (or more) of you.

And I want Terry’s husband to get the kidney he needs.  Not to have to go through years of dialysis.  Years he might not have.

You would need to qualify medically.  Are you a fairly healthy adult, particularly in regard to weight and blood pressure?  You can learn more online here about the donor approval process.

You would need to be patient and accepting.  The steps involved take time, and you might find that you are not eligible to donate.

You would not need to be a direct match to help this family.  If you’d be willing to simply donate on behalf of the recipient, then he can join a registry like the National Kidney Registry.  The registry would find a matching recipient for you, and in exchange for your donation, they would find a matching donor for him, as part of a kidney chain.  Being in NKR would reduce his waiting time from several years to an average of eight months.

You would not need to travel to Tampa or wherever a kidney chain recipient is.  Only your kidney would need to fly there.  You could donate at any of the participating medical centers in the registry.  If you’d prefer a different transplant center, perhaps it would be willing to work with NKR to accommodate your donation.

You would need to take a few days off from work, if you work, for medical tests, and at least a couple weeks off for recovery.  If you would have to take leave without pay, you would not get reimbursed.  Travel expenses would probably not be reimbursed.  Virtually all other expenses would be covered for you.

You would need to educate yourself and acknowledge the risks.  There are risks to any surgery.  But consider the risk of childbirth.  The day you were born, you endured a medical procedure that is about twenty times more risky than kidney donation.  Life is not without risks.

You would need to see the risks as being outweighed by the potential benefits, blessings that would accrue mainly to someone else.

But believe me, you would benefit too.

I believe that there are many called to donate their spare kidney who simply haven’t yet recognized it.  But as I experienced, every future donor goes through some experience that leads them to see it, to “get it, ” to wonder “Why not?” – something they read, something they see, someone they hear about, something they come across that may seem like happenstance but is really the call.

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About Ray Mueller

Husband, father, Christian, pro-life, kidney donor, video producer & editor
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2 Responses to Called to Give, Blessed to Receive

  1. wendy says:

    I’ve come across your blog while researching information on kidney donation. I am scheduled to donate a kidney to a man I’ve never met next week. I think I’ve chosen to do this partly as a result of a mid-life crisis and I’m finding it difficult to explain my motives to others. I am not christian or religious, I just feel like I have enough good things that can share with others. I appreciate the all I’ve been able to learn reading your blog. Thank you.

    • Ray Mueller says:

      Thanks, Wendy. Glad the blog has been helpful. It seems to me that the reasons you gave in your comment are a fine explanation of your motives! I wish (and pray) all the best for you and your recipient next week and beyond.

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