Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years ago, my Aunt and Godmother was diagnosed with kidney failure, her only kidney. She received a transplant and that kidney saved her life. She got married and now has two grown children that doctors never thought that she would have. That kidney has been good to her all of these years, however just over 2 years ago, her new kidney started to fail. She began dialysis again and went back on the donor list and waited...
Tonight, she received a call that there was once again a kidney for her. It is such a relief and now we wait for word on how it goes.
Back in January 2004, my now mother-in-law was also diagnosed with renal failure. She too went on dialysis and waited for a kidney. She waited a short time. Her wonderful neighbor selflessly offered to be tested to be a match. She thought, "I'm listed as a donor, why wait until I'm dead when I could do good now." Ironically, that neighbor was a match 100% across the board. Only 9 months later, the transplant was complete and that kidney has worked perfectly since then.
So, tonight I can't help but be thankful to all organ donors. Three people have blessed our family with the wonderful gift of life. Their gift has allowed these two women to live and experience things and events that otherwise they may have missed.
My aunt may not have ever met her husband and they never would have had two children that are smart, driven and ambitious and one day, I have no doubt that they will do great things. And now she will be able to see them both graduate college, get married and have kids of their own. And although I am incredibly thankful, I send my condolences out to the family who has lost someone they love. We will never know who you are, but I pray that they find comfort in knowing that the untimely death of their loved one has blessed our family and given us many more years to enjoy together.
And tonight I am equally as thankful to the wonderful woman who gave of herself to help a neighbor. Without that kidney, my mother-in-law may never have lived to be my mother-in-law. She may never have met the grandson that she loves and adores with all her heart.
There is a long list of people just like my aunt and mother-in-law, that wait every day for that same phone call. Organ donation saves lives. Please, check the organ donor box on the back of your license, make sure your family knows your intentions if something were to happen to you. Your own selfless act may save someone else's life.