A year ago today…

I sort-of officially learned I was to become a living kidney donor. September 20, 2010 was a Monday and I was in Washington, DC – odd since that’s where I am this year too! Anyway, I was scheduled to speak about WellPoint’s obesity programs at a Capitol Hill briefing coordinated by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. While I’ve had the pleasure of speaking publicly on a variety of topics over the y ears, never had I been “on the Hill.” I was nervous. My mind fails me a bit, but either on the way to the Hill or on the way back, I got a call or text from Lisa indicating that “I was it….” There had been another potential donor going through the final stages of testing and at her physical had been removed from the process. Lisa had spoken to the transplant team and they were now ready to present me as the donor to the final evaluation committee. Odd game of tag – playing with a kidney! As you might recall, while I had learned I was a match back in May – I was “on hold” in case a closer match was found. I was a bundle of nerves that day due to my Hill briefing, but was then put into a spiral of emotions – scared. Happy. Terrified. Anxious. Giddy. In reflecting, it was just crazy!

The plan as of 9.20.10 was that our “case” would be presented at the end of the week, we’d know that day if approved and all systems would be go for scheduling. The day of actual approval, I remember well too….this time I was in Denver at a skill building session called Candor and Confrontation. Hmmm.. for those of you who know me, you may surmise that I failed that skill building – but really – my diplomacy skills have improved!!! So, there were numerous calls that day about how soon, which day, travel for my mom, surgery coinciding with my sister’s birthday, critter care – and all the logistical stuff I HATED. And again – more of those feelings – oh crap – this is really going to happen! I really think even though I had mentally processed everything, due to all the delays, I never thought it would actually happen. And maybe I stayed in that limbo mode until the day of surgery….
Fast forward. It’s 9.20.11; I’m back in DC. Tomorrow will be 11 months post-donation. Somebody recently asked me why I did it. And lately, I’ve been observing a lot – and feeling like as a society, we’ve lost that concept of giving. For giving’s sake. Not for personal gain or notoriety or anything self-serving – just because. I also had someone ask me – if roles were switched – would Lisa have volunteered to be your donor? I don’t know. I don’t care. It really doesn’t matter. I did it because I wanted to be sure Daniel and Sophie had their mom. I did it because I am blessed to be healthy enough that it wasn’t going to be a detriment to my health. I did it because I could. And although my OSU Buckeyes are a bit challenged this season (example of diplomacy!), Brutus seems to be cranking along in his new home.