I was trying to come up with something witty for today, since today is World Kidney Day 2012! But I know it is more of a day to poingnant and somewhat direct. Now, if you remember, on World Kidney Day 2011, I had yet received my new kidney...so the significance of this year's World Kidney Day takes on a whole new meaning for me.
This time last year, to be honest, I had no idea what a little two pound organ was fully capable of. I knew I was sick, but I didn't know how sick because kidney disease is a very slow progressive disease. But as you have read from this blog in the past, once the transplant occurred, my life had changed, and not in such a slow, subtle way that kidney disease had changed my life over the previous 5-8 years - this was dramatic !
It was as if the surgeon, when he transplanted Tommy's kidney into me, just flipped a switch - I instantly had more energy because Tommy's kidney started working immediately!
But as happy as I am today, and as relieved and fortunate to have gotten a second chance at life, there is still a certain sadness still. I was one of the lucky ones...I got the second chance. Do you know, that yesterday, on average, 18 people died in this country because they were waiting for their second chance.
Now, 18 may not seem like a very big number, but when you pair it with the 18 people who will die today and the 18 who will die tomorrow, it adds up. Soon that 18 turns into 126 this week, and 504 this month, and 6,570 this year - no, wait, we had a leap day this year, so that is an additional 18, bringing up to a total of 6,588 !
The 18 who will die today are in no way anonymous...they are someone's mother, or father, or sister or brother, or aunt or uncle, or a cousin, or a co-worker, or someone you sat next to in church, your child's classmate, a father trying to provide for his family, a single mother raising two little kids. Those are 18 people who did not have to die.
Do me a favor, take a look at your friends list today on Facebook. Think of what it would be like to lose 18 of those friends today - devastating. Then another 18 tomorrow.
But, fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way - not at all. And there is a very simple solution, and it is all through a simple act of kindness. And that is to become an organ donor. If you are renewing your licence, just check the box that asks you to become an organ donor - how easy is that? Really, it can't get much simpler. You can also go online to: www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org , or www.organdonor.gov . Or, here's another way, if you know of a relative, or friend, or co-worker, or someone on your Facebook friends list, that needs a kidney - get tested.
How great would you feel if you saved someone's life today ??!!!