Over a year ago I began the journey of exploring the option of giving a kidney to my mom. My mom has been waiting for a kidney transplant for years but her actual time on the transplant list has not added up to much due to chronic health complications attributed to her suppressed immune system. The average person will wait three to five years to receive a kidney transplant but that has to be time where the recipient is 100% healthy and ready to receive an organ. This has proven to be a challenging feat for my mom who is a repeat transplant (you can read more about her experience here).
After much introspection and praying about the right decision I just came to the conclusion that giving my kidney is what feels right. There are a number of times where I was thinking about donation and something came on the radio talking about organ donation, or a sermon at church where someone shared their story of how they gave their kidney because of their faithfulness in God, or a random organ donation license plate that reassured me that it was the right thing to do. The doctor that I met with a year ago to get more information on the transplant process is the actual doctor that will be performing my surgery. It’s the little things that reassure me, and remind me that every little detail of my life is perfectly stitched together by the mighty hand of God.
With all of that being said, it is still scary and there are times where I have had my doubts if this is what is right for me. After I was cleared for surgery I waited almost three months to set a date because it all hit me at once. I needed some time to process everything. I understand that this is a major surgery and there are real risks associated with not only going under anesthesia but also of living with only one kidney. I will wake up with half of my renal anatomy. I joke that it’s an extreme way to lose a quarter pound! Ultimately, it is what is best for my mom and my family. We all deserve a chance at a normal life.
WHY ORGAN, EYE, AND TISSUE DONATION?
- 121,366 people are waiting for an organ
- 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ
- 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives
I will be a living kidney donor on the on March 4, 2014. I have also made the decision to donate my organs, eyes, and tissues upon my death to help additional families. I hope you will consider talking to your family more about your wishes.