17 January 2014

Love For Laura (A Story About Organ Donation)

Made with the Rhonna Designs iPhone app

Real life is far beyond more beautiful, twisted, brutal, and mesmerizing than any piece of fiction. 2014, you are reminding me of that in bold and stellar ways. 

Goosebumps have taken up permanent residence all over my body since last Saturday morning. Because her brother was determined unsuitable to donate his kidney to her at the last minute, my surrogate little cystinosis sister was on the UNOS list (United Network For Organ Sharing) for a mere two days, when they received the call there was a kidney waiting for her. Folks, this NEVER happens. Ever. If I was watching a movie with this plot line and a character received a kidney that quickly? I would laugh hysterically, shake my head, and remark "Ha! Only in the movies!" If you are someone who is lucky enough to be unfamiliar about the whole timeline of the organ transplant process, I will tell you that unfortunately people on the adult list can wait years for a kidney. Laura was on the pediatric list because she is still 17 for a few more months. A huge, unbelievable blessing! 

My heart was all over the map last weekend, waiting for the final blood results to confirm the kidney was a match and the transplant would go ahead. Frantically attempting to get a plane ride out to Atlanta so I could be there with them, but not wanting to plan ahead and jinx such a precious milestone. When the yes came I cried for Love For Laura and the life that awaits her. I cried for the family on the other side, giving even in the depths of grief. (I have been on both sides of this, and although we were not able to donate my sister's kidneys, I've felt every emotion on every facet of the whole experience.) Please consider being an organ donor, it is truly a sacred adventure. Laura gets a second chance at life now. We were able to chat over FaceTime with her while she was in ICU a few days ago and it took some serious self control to hold back oceans of ecstatic tears. Cherish what you've been given friends. If you've been blessed with two working kidneys, share one. If you have any questions about organ donation and the transplant process, I will happily answer them. My kidney transplant was 19 years ago and I needed this wake up call to remember what a treasure this all is. I am so lucky. I am so lucky I'm alive and planning our miracle girl's 4th birthday in a couple of weeks. I am blessed to be here, dancing in the shower with her while we sing Basia Bulat tall tall shadows at the top of our lungs. Please don't waste away the time you've been handed, do things with your life that make you feel joy and peace. We are all only here for a snap of time, build a legacy that will outlast your story. 


  1. What a blessing. The baby I watch, grandfather just got a new kidney a couple weeks ago. They called him in August and somehow he missed the call. He was encouraged at that time knowing he was next on the list. Finally the call came. They said he had 10 minutes to pack and had to be at the hospital in 45 minutes. I'm sure the hospital is farther than that but they got there in time. I am signed up as a donor. My mother had a kidney removed a couple years ago. Happy Birthday to your miracle girl.

  2. What an amazing story. I almost started crying. I've never known anyone that has needed a kidney transplant, but man, y'all are just so amazing for doing what you do. The world is definitely lucky to have people like you.

  3. what an amazing story. God is so good!!

  4. What a wonderful miracle.... science is amazing! I'm waiting on kidney surgery within the next week, not a transplant or anything as serious as that, but my kidney needs reattaching.

  5. What a beautiful story, and an important message. I'm following you on bloglovin' from the Mom Bloggers Club Network. I hope you'll check out my blog at www.MommyAtoZBlog.com!

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