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My Organ Donation Journey - Chapter 10

Who will get my kidney?

Carrie Bradshaw got to write about “sex in the city.”  I get to write about my kidney in the city—or maybe my kidney in the country. I’m not sure where—or more accurately who—my kidney will call home after July 10.

During the screening process, I was asked numerous times how I feel about the fact that I may never know the identity of my kidney recipient.

So how do I feel?  Can I give away a body part and never look back?

In all honesty, I would love to meet my recipient.  I’d like to have a name and an identity to bring this experience to life. It would be heartening to know I am donating a kidney to George or Sarah rather than an anonymous, faceless patient with advanced kidney disease.

But that’s not how the program works.  As I understand, each participant—donor and recipient—has the option of sharing his or her identity or remaining anonymous.  And both must agree.

And then there is the really hair issue that no one wants to think about: What if the transplant doesn’t work? What if the kidney—my kidney—fails?

I may get to meet my recipient or not. My kidney may work as it should or it may shut down. No matter what, I have to accept that the ultimate outcome is beyond my control.  I have to be satisfied knowing that I gave one person hope for a second chance at life.

So I will give up the tearful, yet joyful meeting that may only exists in my imagination.  I will give away my kidney—complete with veins and arteries—but with no strings attached. And I will think of this act this like a very special gift to the Angel Tree.

If you consider giving a gift to the Angel Tree to be the best part of Christmas—and you happen to have a healthy kidney you are willing to spare—let me know, email me at sdubuque@ndp.agency. And we can imagine who our recipients are together.

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