Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13th

On this day 7 years ago, my best friend gave my husband one of the most amazing gifts one could give of themselves...a kidney. Each year as this day approaches, we all get together and reflect on that day and how it really truly transformed all of our lives. Although the kidney ultimately rejected two short years later, November 13, 2002 will forever be etched in our lives as a life changing moment for all of us...a moment where we suddenly realized what was possible,...all thanks to my very brave friend, Cynthia.

I know I haven't updated this
blog in a long while, mostly because there hasn't been much to update...Darren remains on dialysis and we remain waiting for that right match to come along. So, I asked Cynthia this week to write down some of her feeling about today for me to's what she wrote:


November 13th is a big day for me—happy and sad.

It’s a happy day because it is the anniversary (20 years now!!) of my mother-in-law being cancer free. My mother-in-law and father-in-law are going to Cabo for the week to CELEBRATE health! I can’t imagine my world without her, I love her like she’s my own mother and she is such an awesome part of life for my kids…

It’s a sad day because it’s also the anniversary (7 years) of when I donated my kidney to Darren. I remember on the first anniversary his mom sent me beautiful flowers and wrote me a card thanking me for saving her son. I never liked the “You are such an angel/hero for donating your kidney!” comments from people b/c that’s not what it was about at all. My friend had a need and I was able to help him out. It was as simple as that really! November 13, 2003 was the one year anniversary for celebrating and being thankful for friendship, life and for Darren’s health.

That all changed when the kidney failed and it breaks my heart that Darren is back on the list and back on dialysis and back to needing another kidney. I wish I was a freak of nature and had been born with three kidneys because I would give him another one without any hesitation.

I remember before I had kids my mom told me lies, er, stories about how childbirth wasn’t that bad and really she didn’t remember much pain. HA! I will always remember the pain of childbirth J So I guess I should be honest and I shouldn’t say “it was as simple as that” b/c I realize it was a big deal. It did hurt, I was in pain for a week or so and I couldn’t lift my chunky 11 month old son or my three year old daughter for four weeks. The only reason I can say “it was as simple as that” is because I had a wonderful support system—help with the kids, help with meals, etc. Plus every day of those few weeks while I was healing I would talk to Darren on the phone and he’d give me an update on his creatinine level and I could celebrate and remember why I wasn’t feeling so great. I was reminded every day that my pain was so worth it! What an awesome thing that I got to be part of—giving Darren his life back, giving Sara her husband back. Seriously, I am thankful to have had the chance to be part of that.

So now I feel helpless because I did what I could and it worked for a while but we didn’t end up with a happy ending. I wish that I could help Darren find another kidney. This time not just for him and for Sara but also for ALICE! Sweet, adorable, beautiful Alice. It hurts me, it makes me sad every year on November 13. Well, actually it makes me sad every day because we can’t just think about Darren’s need on November 13th or on his birthday or on a day when Sara sends out an email reminding everyone of his need. Sara, Darren and Alice live with dialysis every day and we—their friends and family—need to remember that. We need to remember to love them, support them, pray for them and hey, maybe even get tested for them!

Here’s what I’d love. How about if everyone helps make November 13, 2010 another day to celebrate. Let’s see what we can do about getting Darren another kidney by then. How cool would it be if Sara and Darren could go to Cabo to CELEBRATE 20 years of health?!

Cynthia's beautiful kids, Asia and Ezra...and Darren's likeness, Alice.

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