Clarity in the Chaos – Our Kidney Story: Part 2

If you’re just joining us…start with Part 1 of this story here!

There have only been a few times in my life where I felt like I heard a message so clear that there was no room to doubt. It is this kind of clarity that gives me peace and confidence when making big decisions … like donating a kidney … especially in the midst of chaos … like raising our 3 little boys.

In April of this year I was heading to a park in St. Louis to meet the newest TinySuperhero, Super Michael! I was excited to meet him and hand deliver his cape, and HEC-TV was there to capture it on camera for a story they were working on.

I had no idea how much this little guy would change my life.

Michael was born with underdeveloped kidneys. He has been on dialysis for his entire life, going to the hospital three times per week for 3 hours at a time. You could say his life revolves around his dialysis schedule.

Michael’s mom is Sarah and I was meeting her for the first time that day as well. During the interview, she was telling us about Michael’s condition and how he would soon need a kidney transplant.  She said …

“Once Michael is on the transplant list, we will be looking for a living donor.”

A living donor? I’d never heard of it.

I pretty distinctly remember being at the DMV when I was 16 and feeling a lot of stress as I chose whether to mark the organ donation box on the back of my license or not…but living donor was a new concept for me.

Peripherally I’m sure I had heard stories about kidney transplants within families and such, but I’d never actually thought about how that would happen or the circumstances that would surround it…and it had never happened to anyone I knew.

And MOST certainly, I didn’t know that an adult could voluntarily donate a kidney to a child. Did you? This blew my mind.

I can’t explain it, but with great clarity and peace, I knew right then and there that whenever Michael was officially listed on the transplant list, I wanted and needed to see if I was a match.

I now feel very special about that day at the park and having it captured on camera is a treasure. You can see the piece by HEC-TV from that day here.

I came home from the park and told my husband, Joe, about how clearly I felt I needed to see if I was a match for Michael. I was excited about the possibility but was trying to leave space for Joe to react, as it would certainly impact his life as well.

It’s easier to talk about something like this when it is hypothetical…Michael wasn’t even on the transplant list yet and there was no way to know if I would be a match or not. I also had no idea what would be involved in seeing if I was a match, let alone the transplant surgery.

But, Joe is amazing, and just as he has always done, he said he would support me if I it was what I thought I needed to do. (Though surely he thought I had perhaps totally lost my mind…)

And then I waited.  I had no idea when Michael would be put on the transplant list, but he lingered in the back of my mind from this day on. 

More story to come…


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