Aimee's Success Story

11-24-10 Thanksgiving.  Could there be a better day to donate a kidney to my mom?

I'd spent years watching my mom live with and suffer from kidney failure.  Weeks spent in hospitals and days spent on dialysis, severely tired most of the time.  I've met so many people on dialysis and watched them all suffer. The reality hit me when some of those people would not come back the next day, or any day.  So when the Doctors told me the only chance of survival was a kidney transplant. I thought, why not me?

That night I prayed and asked God that if I was to donate, He would let me be a match,  I also read John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.”

I decided to donate.  And guess what?  I wasn't just a match. I was a perfect match. Many people including friends and family told me not to donate.  They said "it's too dangerous", or "Your sons need you more", and “Just let someone else to do it."  I had a lot to think about. In the end I realized I am the only one who lies down with my own thoughts.  My own choices. So it came down to this:

IF you saw someone suffering; someone crying, someone in pain and you had the opportunity to do something about it - would you? Or would you just walk by, watch them suffer?  Well I couldn't watch anymore. My mom had no functioning kidneys.  I had two. Inside my body I held the cure, a gift of life. I did my research. I talked to previous donors and I talked to doctors. I knew I could live with only one kidney. The doctors told me that people only really need one kidney to live. I asked her why does God give us two then?  And my very wise friend Kim said, for moments like these.  Donating is a deeply personal decision, and I decided right then that if by any circumstance I couldn't donate to my mom, I would donate to someone.

To answer your questions:
YES.  IT hurt, but only for a little while.
YES.  I was scared the night before, but just for a minute, because God reassured me He had me and He would be my strength.
YES.  I missed my kidney on day two of recovery.  Strange, I know.
And YES.  I am completely confident I made the right decision to donate.  I marvel at the amazing human body and its ability to give, to adapt and to heal.

In the same year I fulfilled a promise to myself and I ran the Equinox marathon with Team in Training.  Now 3 1/2 years later my life is blessed beyond belief.  I continue to run, to hike, to bike, to swim and to spend time with my mom. I enjoy all the same activities I did before I donated, I just do it with more passion now. Because through donating I've learned to treasure each moment, each sunrise, each sunset, each person.  Life is truly lived when it is given away.

Please consider donating.