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Preparing for a Kidney Donation

Updated on August 22, 2015
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a Baby-Boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

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My daughter donated a kidney September 2014.

This week my daughter announced that she had decided to donate one of her kidneys to her church pastor. He had been sick for some time and many of the congregation went to be tested months ago, including my mother, my daughter and her husband. When my daughter was informed that she was a match, she prepared and put her name on a list for the pastor when his kidneys finally gave out. That happened this month.To be honest when she told me about this, many emotions ran through my mind. First, any operation has risks, and what if something goes wrong? What about the children, my grandchildren? You really want to risk you life? Second, I thought she must be joking. Really? You can't be serious. Third, I thought what if the kidney she gives up doesn't work and the pastor is in the same place he was before but now she has only one? I mean there are no guarantees, are there? Fourth, I though what if her children or, God forbid, I need one of her kidneys? I mean, what about ME? Then I figured that was pretty selfish and swallowed that thought. Last, I thought she was the most incredibly brave and generous, selfless person I have ever met. A wave of pride and gratitude washed over me and I was a peace with her decision. Luckily, I didn't say any of the things I thought, although I intend to tell her how very proud of her I am.Photo credit: Royalty-free image from Graphic Stock.

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She grew up to be a giving girl.

My little girl in the arms of my Dad (now passed away) and my Mom.
My little girl in the arms of my Dad (now passed away) and my Mom. | Source

There is great need.

This is the little girl I carried, powdered and taught to walk. It seems so humbling now to think of her going under the knife to save someone else's life. I can't stop thinking about it.In preparing for this event, because in truth it is an event of significant magnitude, I did some research. According to the New York Times, more than 100,000 people now wait for kidneys and from living and deceased donors there are only 16,500 to 17,000 kidneys available annually. I think I knew there was a waiting list, but had no idea it was so overwhelming. This does not include private donations like a father and son, or in this case pastor and parishioner. However, I can only imagine the joy and gratitude the pastor must have felt when he expected to be put on a long waiting list only to find someone has been standing by to donate a kidney to him specifically when his need became great.

An Amazing Story

 I created this graphic in Photoshop.
I created this graphic in Photoshop. | Source

Should we change the laws?

In the New York Times article, it states that the altruistic system that is now in place simply is not sufficient. It probably would be helpful to have some kind of in-kind benefit in place for those who are willing to part with a body part like this. I can see that this is certainly controversial and a difficult subject, where it would be easy for those with deep pockets to offer large compensation to the less fortunate for a kidney, or for the haves to prey on the have-nots. However something needs to be done or black-market sales will begin to flourish. The Times article mentions things like tuition vouchers for college or even donations toward the donor's retirement. Those kinds of things seem reasonable. I'm just not sure how ethical.

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Would you be willing to Share?

Suddenly I feel a little selfish to be sitting on my own two kidneys all these years without even giving a thought to those desperate people who need just one. Sure I have signed the donor card on my driver's license so that if ever I was killed a car accident they can have any organs that are useable. But I never gave much thought to what may be of shared use while I'm living. How many have thought of donating blood or kidneys or bone marrow? What about you? Would you donate a kidney to a total stranger?

Confessions of a Kidney donor

My daughter and her nurse

Just before moving her to her room after the surgery, I got a pic of my daughter and her nurse.
Just before moving her to her room after the surgery, I got a pic of my daughter and her nurse. | Source

My sweet daughter and her well pastor.

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She's expecting.
She's expecting. | Source

More to the Story

On September 2, 2014, my daughter gave the gift of life to her pastor. It was a difficult time for her family, her husband, and friends waiting to hear how everything turned out for 6 hours, but it was even more difficult and hope-filled for the family and friends of the pastor. It all turned out perfect. Even before her pastor woke up, his new kidney was working like a racehorse and all his blood urine counts were normal within 2 hours of the surgery. My girl has great kidneys! She is well and getting stronger every day. She said it hurt a lot but she would do it again. We all think she is a hero.

What is more is that she had been praying to get pregnant for years and it just didn't happen for her. She finally accepted that it wasn't going to happen and adopted a sweet little 2 year old girl. After the kidney donation, she got pregnant finally. God is Good... all the time.

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So would you give of yourself in this way? - I'd love to hear your opinion.

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Uzochukwu Mike, I agree. My daughter is great. I'm so proud of her, I just can't say.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Mary, I can't wait to read about your experience. Yes, my daughter is due in July. It is like a miracle baby. I can't wait. Thanks for visiting.

    • Uzochukwu Mike profile image

      Uzochukw Mike 

      3 years ago from Oba

      Your daughter is great, wonderful, unique and excellent woman. I love what she did.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      3 years ago from Florida

      I cannot understand why more people don't donate a kidney to another person. I lost a kidney due to a large stone, and I do very well with just the one kidney. Of course I am past the child bearing age. You say your daughter is expecting, that is wonderful.

      I wrote a Hub about my experience of losing a kidney.

      I wish the very best for your daughter.

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      More good news: My daughter had been hoping to get pregnant for two years and when it didn't happen, she decided to adopt and go through with this donation of her kidney. It has now been several months since the donation and she finds she is expecting a baby. God blesses! We are all excited.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @LisaAuch1: I am in awe too!

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      4 years ago from Scotland

      Wow!..........I am in Awe! your daughter is incredible :)

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @parker-king: Thank you very much.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Brite-Ideas: I think you are right. She is a real selfless giving person. I'm sure God will bless her for it.

    • profile image

      parker-king 

      4 years ago

      Nice informations , Thank you

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      this is absolutely incredible - I would do it for a family member without a doubt, but your daughter goes above and beyond where I think I would go with this - a relative of ours did this for her brother

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