“I have a responsibility to reflect on and plan actions which, from the perspective of my limited intelligence, are noble and loving. At the same time, I must have faith that whatever happens will be all right. In action I reflect on what is the best thing to do, but in faith I know that whatever I do will be OK.” — Alma For Ada, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE
Earlier this month, on March 10th, the world celebrated World Kidney Day. To most of us this was just another day. To me, and my family, it is a celebration of joy. Six + years ago, my youngest daughter gave her older sister a kidney and saved her life. As the mother of both a donor and recipient — both who now lead meaningful and vital lives — my heart fills with gratitude that we lived in a time and a place that made the transplant possible.
Even with the benefits of modern medicine on our side, this was no piece of cake. There were unanswered questions. There was opposition. There was chaos. The pain our eldest daughter went through was difficult to watch. That she rose to every challenge was a triumph of the Spirit I feel honored to have witnessed. Because of some complications, she was rejected by several California transplant centers before Johns Hopkins took her on. Because she would be treated out-of-state, we had to raise funds and dip into life savings to pay for her treatment and to set up housekeeping in Baltimore. The Universe opened up to us in ways even I could not have imagined and all our must needs — and those we did not even know we had — were, over time, lovingly supplied. I was looking for miracles. Miracle after miracle unfolded before my eyes.
Though there were miracles and there is profound gratitude, this was one of the most stressful events we experienced, individually and collectively. When we talk about the transplant now, when we speak of “outcomes,” it is always from the perspective of what can we do to help others, how we can make this process easier for other families — recipients and donors, spouses, parents, and children of same. We counsel other families, we volunteer, we march, we promote organ donation, we contribute and we raise funds. We do what we an when an opportunity arises.
March is National Kidney Month. April is National Donate Life Month If you would like to learn more about being an organ donor, please visit http://www.DonateLife.net. If you would like to learn more about resources available to you about kidney transplantation, please visit http://www.kidney.org. It is our joy to pass the word.