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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Kidney Transplant...Donate Life

Today my daughter will be a guest blogger, and because of her (giving one of her kidneys to someone waiting on the list to receive a kidney) I was able to receive a kidney from a "Good Samaritan" donor and am alive today because of it. Being a recipient of a kidney it's hard to
find the words to express my gratitude to both my daughter and my donor.

We wish to spread the word about organ donation and the "Paired Exchange" program at the University of Utah Medical Center. So, she will tell you some of the things she has been involved with since her recovery.

Hello! I am honored to be guest blogging today on the Santa's Gift Shoppe blog. As many of you know, my mom and founder of Santa's Gift Shoppe had a kidney transplant earlier this year. As you also know, I donated a kidney on her behalf (since our kidneys didn't match closely enough) through a miraculous program called the "Paired Exchange Program". This enabled not only my mom to receive a kidney, but another person from the kidney waiting list to also receive one. Paired exchange "chains" can be small or very large, but no matter the chain size, lives are saved and changed forever. It's not just a program, but a gift of life. However, I'll save that post for another day.

First, I wanted to thank all of the Santa's Gift Shoppe readers that have not only supported us through the shoppe, but also through your support and kindness as our family has been moving forward during these life-changing events. Your words of encouragement, prayers, and well wishes have been rays of sunshine as the transplant and recovery process has continued. Thank you so much! The world is a better place because of people like you!

It's easy to get caught up in our day-to-day activities running and dashing about, but I wanted to take a few minutes and recognize a different kind of dash...Dash for Donation. I participated in the 5K event this past August. It was inspiring to see people from all kinds of situations and circumstances come together for organ donation awareness and support. There were organ recipients, donors, family members "dashing" in honor and tribute of loved ones that had passed on, transplant staff from multiple hospitals, small teams, large teams, and individuals unite for a common cause-everyone there understood the importance of organ donation.

Everyone 'dashed' for the cause and many 'dashed' in tribute of a transplant recipient or donor. I dashed in honor of my mom and best friend as well as her Good Samaritan donor (a living donor that donates a kidney to help someone else) who is now a dear family friend.
Here are some memories from the day:

The park animals even seemed to get the message and were "dashing" right along with us.

I talked with many people that shared their stories of receiving a kidney, lung, or liver (or part of one) and how their lives had been saved and significantly improved by the kindness of a donor. I learned of people that passed away and had selflessly chosen to donate their organs before their passing to help someone else they didn't know. I was able to share our own story of hope because of a Good Samaritan donor and a dedicated and knowledgeable transplant staff to whom we will always be grateful.

The spirit of the day was hope, encouragement, love, and compassion-something I believe the world could use more of and from which many of us could benefit. So, thank you family, friends, and blog readers for helping to spread and share your support and encouragement. Let's keep passing it forward in honor of the gift of life.

To learn more about organ donation. click here.


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