I have a choice
No one is making me donate a kidney. I have not been coerced or shamed. I have not been persuaded or convinced by any outside force. It is my choice—and one I have made following research and thoughtful consideration.
It is also my choice how I will experience this journey. And I have decided to make it an enjoyable adventure that I can share with my family, friends and even total strangers.
When I told my husband Bob what I was planning to do, he just rolled his eyes. After 15 years of marriage, nothing I can do would surprise him. But he’s always ready to help no matter what I do.
There are my friends. Those who live far away have been following my story online—lending their support through words of encouragement, prayers and good wishes. And those who live close by have offered to provide transportation and meals and walk with me while I get back in shape after surgery.
Among my friends are my YAYAs. This amazing group of crazy women gathered together to wish my kidney a fond farewell. There was a fabulous meal and fun presents—a coloring book, a huge bag of cards to keep me occupied while I am in the hospital and 100 kidney-shaped squeeze balls!
But my circle didn’t stop there.
I have heard from so many people—total strangers who have some connection to organ transplantation. They are donors, recipients and many are loved ones of those waiting for an organ. I am deeply touched by their stories and their kind and caring words.
In addition to helping one person by sharing my spare kidney, I am hopeful that I can help many others—by spreading the word about living donations. With more than 100,000 patients waiting for an organ there simply are not enough deceased donors to meet the need.
Being a living donor is not for everyone. But if you are in good health you might consider helping someone who is seeking a second chance at life. The choice is yours.