Test #1

Everybody please say a little prayer for my blood. I went to my primary care physician today to have them draw 3 vials of blood for my HLA Testing that they are sending to Vanderbilt Transplant Center. Super easy peasy chicken squeezy test (all I had to do was get poked and give 3 vials worth of blood). The nurse asked me beforehand if I was nervous and I said a little (thinking she was talking about the donation process, but she meant nervous to have my blood drawn). She used an itty bitty butterfly needle and I did not feel a thing. She was so sweet!

Gosh that would be bad if I was nervous about a little needle stick if my end goal was donating a kidney… I have a feeling there will be a lot of needle sticks in my future and I am glad that needles do not bother me (yet, maybe I will feel differently after the 100th time). I try to donate blood frequently so this test was really easy, far less blood than what they take from you when you are donating. I am very happy that the nurse was so sweet and was being so gentle and wanted to make sure I was comfortable.

What I am nervous about though is the results… This is the first of many tests to see if I can donate a kidney to Steve. This test is incredibly important because if I fail that means that I cannot donate a kidney to Steve, he would reject my kidney. The test is comparing our tissue type and antibodies to see if my organ would be compatible in him. I feel incredibly anxious right now… you know that panicked feeling where you wake up from a nightmare that you showed up for an exam that you haven’t studied for, for a class you have never even been to?!… that is what it is like! There is no preparing for this test and I have no control of the outcome. All I can do is just wait for my grade to be posted and hope that I pass!! Wish me luck!

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Match Made in Heaven

I started praying for my future husband when I was just 13 years old. I remember December of 2003 praying for him and God laying it on my heart that my husband was in pain, excruciating pain, he was dying. This was so confusing, I questioned God, “how could my future husband be dying?” I asked God to give me some of his pain and let him live. After praying that, I remember feeling the most excruciating pain in my abdomen. I continued to pray for my husband through the pain.

Seven years later I was dating this guy Steve. We met in college while I was finishing up my undergraduate degree and he was finishing up his masters degree. I had one semester left when he graduated so we decided to date long distance. One night we were talking on the phone when the conversation about marriage came up. For some reason I decided to tell him about my experience praying for my husband, I had never told anyone about that conversation I had with God before then. I was nervous that he might think I was crazy. After telling him the story I told Steve “I believe that God still performs miracles today.”

It felt like forever, but it was probably just a few moments of silence on the other end of the phone. Finally Steve said “have I ever told you that I have kidney disease and that I had a biopsy when I was 18?” I told him no and he started telling me the story. He found out when he was 18 years old that he had kidney disease and he went in for a routine biopsy operation so the doctors could try to figure out what caused his kidney disease. Steve told me that while the procedure was being done the surgeon nicked an artery. He had severe internal bleeding, he was in excruciating pain and once the doctor realized what had happened he went to stop the bleeding and it miraculously stopped on its’ own. The surgeon said that an angel must have been watching over you because he could have bled to death had it not clotted quick enough. That was December of 2004. Steve was the man I had been praying for all these years.

We got married 4 months after I graduated college on April 21, 2012. Steve’s kidney disease has progressed since then and he has started dialysis. It is incredibly difficult seeing your spouse in pain every day, struggling to have energy to do normal daily tasks. So I found myself praying again for my husband. God please, I begged, let me take away some of his pain. Last month I went with Steve to his nephrologist appointment to ask his doctor a question that has been on my heart for a long time. I asked his doctor if I could donate a kidney to Steve. His doctor said he would contact Vanderbilt Hospital where he did his residency and talk to one of the transplant doctors to see if they would consider Steve for a living kidney donation.

On April 21, 2017, our 5 year wedding anniversary, Steve got the call from his doctor that Vanderbilt wants to evaluate me to donate a kidney to him. Vanderbilt Hospital is sending me a kit to test to see if I am a match to donate to Steve. I feel like our entire story is a miracle and I am excited to see what God has in store for us next. I hope that God will allow me to take away some of his pain again. I have a very strong feeling that we are a perfect match…a match made in heaven!