That’s three years translated down to minutes – just an exercise to see if I could make it seem in words like it feels like in life since I donated my left kidney. Didn’t work. It really feels like forever ago. Yet when I think about three (3) years, it seems like no time at all in the grand scheme of things. I’ve had a lot of reminders lately on how precious life is so it seemed like a good time to get back to blogging and back to sharing about life as a kidney donor.
Although this blog seems to be to the contrary, I’ve historically been reluctant to share with strangers this whole experience. I didn’t want it to seem like I was trying to be recognized or draw attention to myself. But lately that seems counterproductive to what I was hoping would be a part of being a living donor – the opportunity to make a difference. Sure, I get it – I made a difference for Lisa, Sophie and Daniel and I’m glad I did that; but what else can I do?
I’ve always been a believer in the notion that everything we do in life, every experience we have is part of a grand scheme. And as we go through life, we are meant to learn from those experiences and they should make us stronger and smarter and encourage growth. I believe we are put in situations for a specific reason and sometimes you don’t realize until much later what that reason is. This whole donation was crazy to begin with – but there I was – working for Lisa at WellPoint, sympathetic to her challenges wanting to a successful business woman AND a single mom and then faced with the challenge of being in kidney failure. It still amazes me I matched for donation. It still amazes me that after some challenges, the donation actually happened. Still amazed that for me it seemed like such a non-event. Thus I frequently find myself wondering why? And what was I supposed to learn and do from this?
So now, after a couple of job switches in the past couple years, I’m working – yes getting paid – to work on a program to improve the quality of care for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are two outcomes for ESRD – death and transplant. And from working on this project, I’m finally getting my voice and starting to share the living donation story. I’m also seeking opportunities with organizations who want to develop donor education programs. It’s kind of slow start due to my workload right now, but I will continue to trudge ahead, continue to start telling people why I’m so interested in preventing diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, and I’ll continue to believe that however small one act seems – you never know what it will eventually build into. Right now, I’ve feel pretty blessed. Happy to be alive and happy to have the opportunities that present themselves.