everyday life

Be kind to your Kidneys

…because someone might need one of yours someday!

This is my mom, Kelly.

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As most of you know, she recently underwent a much needed kidney transplant.

I thought I would update you a bit on her status.

Now I don’t know all of the technical terminology, so bear with me.

She has polycystic kidney disorder, which basically means her kidney functioning has been steadily declining over the past few years. PKD is a genetic disorder; both my mom’s sister and father (my aunt and grandfather) passed away from kidney failure related to this disorder.

The typical wait list to receive a kidney from a cadaver is years long. Unfortunately, before many people receive their new Kidney, they are forced to go onto dialysis because their kidney functioning has decreased too much.

It had been a prayer of our family’s for a while now that my mom would be able to receive a kidney from a live donor, so as to avoid going on dialysis, which ruins your veins and makes it more difficult for a successful transplant from a cadaver in the future.

Just to break it down for you – In order for that to happen, someone who is alive has to decide to donate.

Of course, each of my siblings and I would have readily donated a kidney for our mom. Unfortunately, there is no ‘test’ to determine whether or not you have PKD (remember, genetic, so 50% chance that either of us could have it).

If my mom were to receive one of my Kidneys (which are good right now), then in a few years it turns out that I gave her a crappy, cystic kidney….well, that would suck!

God has really been at work in my mom’s life – it is evident that He carefully placed stepping stones throughout this journey to guide my parents. Earlier this year, a family friend , Cathy, decided to go forward with testing to see if she was a match….and she was!

It is difficult to put into words your feelings when someone sacrifices something for you (or a family member).

The definition of sacrifice:

to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.

Cathy’s unselfish sacrifice for my mom is a perfect demonstration of living out God’s ultimate plan for us. As humans – with our innate, self-seeking mentality – incidences in which someone sacrifices something for another without gaining anything in return are rare.

Help and give without expecting a return.   You’ll never—I promise—regret it.   Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst.   Our Father is kind; you be kind.

Luke 6:35 &36 (The Message)

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4 days post transplant, and the kidney is workin, oh, it’s workin!

Which forces me to link you to this video, just so you know what goes through my head every time I say it’s workin’

and now that will run through your mind every time you hear it as well.

you’re welcome.

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i love my parents

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my dad is so supportive. and never complains. about anything. ever.

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I promise I love my mom. I know from the picture it looks like I don’t want to get near her, but really there was a wall there behind the curtain and I had to wedge myself between the chair and the wall just to get into the shot – silly big hips that prevent you from squeezing into small spaces!

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The transplant was done at MCV in Richmond, Virginia.

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The day we visited the hospital, we learned that the hospital had completed 3 other kidney transplants just that day!

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This guy, Dr. Hume, is one of the pioneers of the kidney transplant, and was also the doctor who performed my grandfather’s transplant…many, many years ago.

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My mom thought this star was on her door because she was a ‘star patient’ and did everything she was told.

In reality, she was just a fall risk and they marked her door so everyone would know to not let her run around all willy-nilly.

Her right leg was numb following the surgery.

(the doctors weren’t too concerned – I guess in the grand scheme of things – I mean, they put a new organ in her body, what’s a little temporary limb numbness?!)

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Some of these drugs cost thousands of dollars per itsy-bitsy bag.

insane.

Please continue to pray for my mom as she now has to fight off infection and rejection of the kidney.

4 thoughts on “Be kind to your Kidneys

  1. What an answer to prayer. I am so happy happy happy to read this. My mom gave me the good news a few days ago, but seeing pictures makes it so real. xoxo

  2. Ashley, your blog brought tears to my eyes. You have such a precious gift in your mom, and your mom has such a precious gift in Cathy. Such a beautiful story. My church will continue to pray for your mom’s recovery and for Cathy, too. My best to your mom, and God bless your family.

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