I annnounced this blog on Facebook last night, and I’m simply overwhelmed with the messages of support for both Lisa and I. I’m kind of slow in getting this blog started and have lots of ideas for improvement, but not all the computer savvy – so bear with me! Lisa will be adding stuff as well – but she failed to participate in my stimulating training session today – so she’s lagging.
Now then, to recap the journey to bring everyone up to date. The characters:
Sarah: that’s me! The donor (see my page for more fascinating info.)
Lisa: she’s my boss; and the recipient, and mother of Daniel and Sophie
Daniel: Twin #1; red-head, fairly troublesome at 9 months and counting
Sophie: Twin #2; reddish-hair; very contemplative, lets Daniel try everything first (she’s a smart girl!)
Bingley, Brin, Gabby, Sebastian and Kirby – minor characters, all with 4 legs; the last 4 just happen to reside with me in New Mexico.
I’ll leave the details on why Lisa needs a kidney and her decision to choose to seek a live donor for her to share. I decided years ago that the direct care of other humans route (i.e. becoming a nurse, doctor, other health professional) was noble, but not for me. I’m not much for dealing with others’ bodily fluids unless its consensual between both parties – and the stories about puking, etc – nah…. I went the business route. However, other than some early jobs working in fast food and a carpet store – every employer since has been health care. I knew early on that improving the quality of care and access to care were my primary interests. I’ve been blessed with some pretty darn good jobs – at NCQA we were responsible for improving health care (indirectly as a watchdog) at the national level and now at WellPoint my job is focused on improving quality of care for about 34 million folks. But, I seemed to be missing that direct impact on 1 life or 2 or 3. Always big picture… There are periodically stories on TODAY (or other similar program) or in the newspaper about how some absolutely excellent person – adult or child really needs some sort of transplant – and they always caught my interest. But not enough to move me to action. I always thought – how sad (if things weren’t looking good), or how incredible (if they beat the odds…), but without a tie to that person, I just never thought I could donate a body part, bone marrow, whatever… Sure, I’m a donor when I become a cadeavor, but in all honesty – I don’t even donate blood. My veins suck!
But then, someone I know had a need. Someone who just had two babies, who has a youngish dog, and had chosen to be a single mom – someone I respect. I won’t claim that we are best friends. Lisa is my boss (and for those past bosses reading this – yes – of course had you asked you could have had the kidney) – a colleague, a mentor, a friend. But most of all someone who really wants to be a mom and that was being threatened. I’m actually quite envious of Lisa – not the kidney failure part – but having the guts to decide she wants kids AND a career and societal perceptions aside – she went for it. Unfortunately, dreams don’t always go as we plan and earlier this year Lisa announced she was in kidney failure, on dialysis 3x per week and needs a transplant.
I’m getting kind of wordy for the evening (gotta love that red wine!), but that pretty much summarizes my early thought process about why I started considering being tested as a donor. I’ll share more about that early decision process tomorrow!