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My Organ Donation Journey - Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter One: month and counting…

On July 9th I’ll be admitted to VCU Health for surgery.  I’m not ill. I’m not injured. In fact, I am happy to report that I am actually pretty healthy. The surgery is 100% elective. At least it is for me. But for my “surgery buddy” this operation is vital.

I am donating a kidney.  And someone out there – I don’t know who – will be the recipient.

Over the next few months I’ll be writing about my story as a living organ donor. I invite you to join me on my journey. And maybe, just maybe, you would consider such a journey of your own.

Chapter Two: Where did the idea come from?

Last year I had the privilege of helping to promote VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center’s 60th anniversary. Through the process, I learned that more than 100,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ right now. And every year thousands of people die while waiting for transplant.  The facts and figures touched my head.

But it was the stories of individual people that touched my heart.  Like Zenobia Diamond. Zenobia suffered from lifelong high blood pressure, but it was well managed by medication.  That was until she developed breast cancer. And the cancer treatment caused a heart attack. And the heart attack caused her blood pressure to skyrocket. And in turn that led to kidney failure. Yet despite all those check marks in the negative column, VCU Health agreed to give her a new kidney. Today, this beautiful 60-year-old woman is thriving.  She will no doubt outlive us all!

If you have ever considered being a living donor, please feel free to contact me at sdubuque@ndp.agency. I’d be happy to share what I know and point you to resources to learn more. It’s a happy journey and I would welcome the company!

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