I did not expect this

“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:

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18 thoughts on “I did not expect this

  1. Your video brought me to tears! I have CKD as a side effect of fighting kidney cancer and having my right kidney removed as a result. I know how challenging CKD can be. So wonderful to hear how God is moving in your lives and providing the perfect match in you. I’ll be praying for a successful transplant!

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  2. I cried so hard thinking you for sharing. you stepped out in faith and God saw your faith and now the rewards of this. This is truly God sent .he put you in his life for a purpose. You serve a awesome God. We will keep praying for you all.let us know how the surgery goes. We can’t wait to hear. God bless you all.

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  3. Your story is truly heart warming! You’re truly blessed to have such an awesome connection with your husband and to be able to be connected to your spouse in a way so many can’t is amazing to say the least. Hopefully your story will reach others considering being a donor and will show them anything is possible. Stay positive and may God bless you and your family!

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  4. A pair of amazing humans right here in my own backyard! Thank you for sharing. I feel so excited, honored and blessed to witness your journey. May He ever bless and keep you both.

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  5. I love your video and story. I am also from Knoxville (although now in New Zealand). In July 2009, I was my brother’s kidney donor. Since then, all is well with him–and all is well with me.

    Best wishes-and if you have questions, let me know. I am happy to be a support person (and I am sure my brother would be as well).

    Lisa

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  6. Your story is absolutely beautiful!!! I am one year post kidney donation…. and let me tell you, it is a decision that u will NEVER regret!!! I would love to provide u with insite on what to expect after surgery, during recovery!! Please reach out to me if u have questions, I would be glad to help!!!!

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  7. So touch by your story and love for one another! I cried so much with such a great act of love for your husband. I have lost 2 friends who could not get transplants. Amazing when you can be a match … also blessed to know a beautiful little girl that my sister in law was able to donate her liver to this 1 year old baby. She is now 3 years old and simply amazing!

    God bless you and your family

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  8. Loved your video! My husband received a living donor transplant less than a year ago at UT Tranplant (not sure if that’s what hospital you surgery will be at). I would have loved to have been a match for him, but I guess it wasn’t “in the cards” for us! Thank God, he provided a gracious, giving Christian man who was willing to be my husbands donor. Good luck to you both during and after surgery. Maybe we will see you on a lab day!

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  9. How beautiful it is to be able to help the one you love most ❤️❤️
    I can’t wait to hear of the successful surgeries and speedy recoveries! Well wishes, y’all!
    Oh, and congrats!!!

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  10. I am in the process of being texted to donate a kidney to a dear friend. I love your story! I am so determined to do this. Prayers to both you & your husband, may God bless you both.

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