“What to expect when you are expecting to donate a kidney” is the name of this blog I started back on May 4th of this year to chronicle my journey in hopefully donating a kidney to my husband Steve. Apparently, you should expect the unexpected! My husband battles chronic kidney disease, gout, and Type 1 Diabetes. Steve was diagnosed with kidney disease 14 years ago but just recently reached low enough kidney function to qualify for a transplant. I did not expect in my wildest dreams that our story would go viral! I am a pretty private person and wanted to film Steve’s reaction to finding out we are a match for us to have as a memory. Then I reluctantly decided to share the video on my Facebook and thought some close friends and family would like to see it because they had been praying for us. I wanted them to share in our excitement! Wow, I am blown away by everyone’s support!
I got the news that we were a match on Thursday July 6th. I was at work, got a call from the transplant donor coordinator, she asked if I had a moment to talk (um yes, of course!!! I have been waiting on your call all week!!!), then she told me the news – “we got the results from your blood work back and you are a match!” I started bawling. I felt so overwhelmed – I have been given the opportunity to save my husband’s life. The donor coordinator told me they would be calling in the next few days to schedule me to come back to the transplant center for 2 days of additional testing to make sure I am in good enough health to donate. Our lives were about to change forever! I could not wait to tell my husband. The news would have to wait though because I wanted to tell him in person and in a special way.
Rewind earlier that week before I had gotten this life changing news. I was thinking about how I was going to tell my husband when I found out we were a match. Even though the odds of us being a match were small, I had faith we would be a match! Why not, right? He is my perfect match in life so why would I not match him for this? I did not want to think about the possibility of us not being a match because hearing I was not a match would have devastated me. This hope of being able to help him is what I had clung to! I went ahead and ordered a customized card from Topps to announce the news to him. Baseball and card collecting has been an escape for us from the stresses of battling this disease so I thought it would be a fun way to tell him. I put in some cheesy baseball puns and ordered it. I put my work address as the shipment address in case we were not a match I did not want my husband to see it. I ended up getting the news we were a match before I got the card in the mail so I contacted Topps customer service. I talked to Sabrina in customer service who was AMAZING!! She contacted distribution and had them rush my card, she sent me the proofs of the card so I could print it out and tell my husband that evening, and she overnighted my card order to me.
I posted the video and I am overwhelmed with the support and love we are getting from around the world. That our video touched so many people is very humbling. My hope is that it brings awareness to living kidney donation and more people consider getting tested to see if they are a match. Kidney disease is so hard! My prayers are with all 100,000 (ish) people who are currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. My hope is that Steve and my story will cut your wait time down substantially, people (friends, family, strangers) will step up and get tested to be a living kidney donor, and that you will all find your match and live healthier, happier, longer lives. Thank you all for watching our video and sharing in our excitement! Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the next stages of testing and hopefully our upcoming surgery in the next few weeks.
Here is the link to the video: