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I've been in the Midwest all of my life. However, I've also had some really incredible experiences that have profoundly shaped who I am as a person. I have been blessed with four overly verbal children, can you say KARMA? And while I've always liked writing, it has become sort of a therapy for me. ...let's just say I don't have to look to hard to have something to write about in this house full of characters.

Monday, November 14, 2011

...HAPPY KINDNEY DAY!!!

So, to anyone else this is November 14th, 2011...it could be your birthday, your anniversary, the day your bills are due...to my family it is all of the above!

Eleven years ago today my husband's day started out as any other...and then he gets 'the call' from Barnes Jewish Hospital. He had been on a kidney transplant list for only one year, as no one in his family or circle of friends matched up with him for a kidney transplant...the waiting was just that, waiting. Most people are on a transplant list for YEARS before they get this triumphant call from Barnes...one of the many miracles we have been blessed with!

So we drive down to Barnes on that faithful day...Jason driving about 110 miles an hour, so excited  and not worried about a ticket on a day like he was having! This is before EVERYONE had cell phones, before texting nonstop, you know, the dark ages.

Once there, other family members also arrived and it was one of the most remarkable things I have ever witnessed...I remember my mom being so concerned, and even asked, "Why is no one worried?" ...she said this because she was a mom, and I wasn't at the time. In hind-sight I probably would have had her concern also...but, I remember saying to her, "Mom, we've been through so much, now it's time to party!"

Once settled in, we found out that the donor kidney was coming from a "child" and (ready for the next miracle) it was a perfect match!--now, for anyone not familiar with transplantation, that is the HOLY GRAIL! Not even Jason's family was able to be a perfect match, and because it was a perfect match, the chances of life are longer, with a very low rejection rate...something so rare coming from someone we had never met...UNBELIEVABLE! The transplant went fine, Jason was in Barnes for a few days and we came home...he of course takes medications daily to keep the kidney healthy and there have been little to no issues with it since then.

We were able to get a picture of this little life saver, Cody. We had it on an alter at our wedding and it has never been put away in our house. This picture of a smiling 8 year old boy has always been with us. Our kids know who he is, and what he did with his life. How he donated his organs when he passed away to save others. Every year we try to do something special on this day to celebrate the life our family has been given...Kidney Day!

Then, 11 years pass. Now, as a mother, I ponder how anyone has the foresight to take what must have been the worst possible thing happening to them...and turn it into something for someone else. Eleven years have passed and at times I forget about the fact that Jason's life was saved. The old adage that it "isn't who he is , but something that happened to him". Then I remember Cody's mother...and it all comes back to me, and there aren't enough words for being grateful...So, today I urge you as a mother, a sister, a wife, a friend...please become an organ donor.

I hope your November 14th is a good one, as for us, we'll be celebrating!



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