A fellow alumnus of my college is donating a kidney to her dad tomorrow.
A friend’s family members are being tested to see who might be able to donate a kidney needed by one of them.
Two people whom I work with each have brothers afflicted with kidney disease.
I was not aware before how prevalent kidney disease is. If I hadn’t donated, I probably still wouldn’t know, as these are stories shared with me in response to my story.
I’ve heard quite a bit lately about kidney disease and transplantation. One man, upon hearing I was down to one kidney, assured me that his own experience living with only one has been fine. His other kidney had not been working and was removed seven years ago.
Another explained that she knows what dialysis patients go through since she works with them. She invited me to visit her unit at her hospital, which I hope to do before long.
Two stories were especially encouraging to me. A colleague related how deeply disappointed he had been when he didn’t match someone he knew who needed a kidney. He also shared his excitement that perhaps he would now become a non-directed donor.
Also, a young man told me of his consideration of kidney donation, in thankfulness for what he experienced. A few years ago he needed a stem cell transplant which required an extremely difficult match. There might have been only two possible donors on earth. One was found, and the transplant cured his cancer and saved his life.
The saddest story was from an elderly woman. Her husband had been on the waiting list for a kidney for five years, and was now too sick to get a transplant. She expressed appreciation for my donation. I said I would pray for them.
To me, these stories and others like them have affirmed my decision to donate. More than that, they have deepened my gratitude for my good health. I am thankful, too, that as a result, God afforded me the privilege of becoming a donor, and adding my story to theirs.
People with other illnesses say the same thing–once people know you have “it” or have helped with “it,” they talk to you about it. You are a blessing to them.
Thanks, Jan. Yes, it has opened up many interesting and enriching conversations!