Every month, we here at The Band choose to highlight a specific word or condition that we want to throw into the spotlight and talk about. For April, we've chosen to spotlight the word - and the act - "donation." What do you donate? Are you a transplant parent? Do you have a transplant story for us? Have you donated blood, organ, or tissues? What about time? Or items for charity?
We want to know what you've donated in your life.
It's time to band back together for donation!
I have a really special uncle named Bill. He's one of those adults who doesn't treat kids like they're dumb or less than because they are young and short. I really appreciated that when I was a kid.
He encouraged my musical side when I started playing the clarinet by introducing me to classical pieces with great clarinet parts.
When we visited Arizona in the summer, my extended family would often go to Sedona for the day. I always loved riding in Uncle Bill's car because he would blast specially-picked music from the stereo and take the drive down the switchbacks nice and fast.
I was pretty small when I first heard the words kidney disease whispered by my parents. I didn't understand what that meant. I noticed changes in him during our once-a-year visits. Eventually there was talk of dialysis and transplant lists.
When he first started on dialysis, I remember he and his wife discussing that there are dialysis centers all over the world, and maybe they would spend time traveling from clinic to clinic. I don't know that it was a very realistic idea, especially as he got to the point of needing multiple treatments each week - they didn't do very much traveling.
My husband and I had our second wedding in Arizona with my family, and Uncle Bill walked me down the aisle. It is one of my most special memories from that wedding.
In 2003, when I was in the hospital on the day my daughter was born, I got the phone call from my mom - Uncle Bill was going in for transplant surgery.
I am sorry that there is a family out there who lost a son, but so thankful that in the midst of their loss, they chose to sign the paperwork and donate his organs, giving my uncle the precious gift of a new kidney.
Each year on my daughter's birthday I pause for a moment and say a prayer of peace for that family.
And I say a prayer of thankfulness for my uncle, who is, by the way, one of my daughter's favorite uncles, too.2 Comments