Imagine what it would be like to have someone in your life who would make an enormous personal sacrifice to help you.
I don’t have to imagine. It happened to me.
Four months ago today, my little sister Stephanie allowed herself to be cut open and gave up one of her kidneys so I could have a second chance at life. The picture that accompanies this post was taken a couple days after the surgery which was the first time I saw her after the procedure.
On each monthly anniversary of my kidney transplant I make time to be grateful for this gift and all the amazing people and things in my life.
Today I focus my gratitude on my sisters.
I have two siblings who were both ready and willing to be my donor. Fiona got tested first but wasn’t an ideal match. Stephanie got tested next and was the best possible match.
Stephanie is the youngest, the baby of the family. And I’m the oldest. So it feels like I’m supposed to take care of her. But that wasn’t meant to be, not in 2017 anyway.
Being a living organ donor isn’t easy. Stephanie went through extensive testing, underwent a major operation, was in pain for weeks, and had to give up more than a month of work. Going through this process is a big deal.
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None of this should dissuade you from being a donor. Telling your loved ones that you want to donate your organs when you die is the easiest thing in the world. And even living kidney donors are usually back to normal a couple months after surgery.
Still, the sacrifice Stephanie made for me was enormous. Before the transplant I felt sick and tired and angry. I was literally dying. Without a transplant or dialysis I would likely have died in a month or two.Today, just four months later, I feel healthy and energized and happy.
I will never be able to thank my little sister enough. Same with Fiona, who was ready and willing to do the same thing.
So today I’m grateful for the best sisters anyone could have.