Fearless Writing Challenge: Day 73 – That Time I Donated a Kidney

Have I told you about the time I donated a kidney? This might be a new bit of information for you, so let me tell you about it. #livingdonorsrock

This is a photo of my sister and me:

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She is my half-sister in that we have the same mom. She is nearly 11 years younger than I am, and as adults, we have become quite close despite being opposites in many ways:

  1. I am a public over-sharer; she is extremely private.
  2. I am an Amazon; she is very petite.
  3. I love dirty jokes; they make her cringe.
  4. I have kids; she doesn’t.
  5. I drive; she doesn’t.
  6. I have been married twice and have fully sown my wild oats; she has been with the same man since she was a teenager.

You get the picture.

However, we are alike in one very important way: we are a tissue match!

You see, when she was a young girl, she contracted a rare virus called H.S. Purpura. This virus can cause permanent organ damage, but it’s one of those things that you may or may not suffer from…and you won’t know until it flares up.

To make a long story short, after many years it became apparent that yes, the virus did affect her organs; specifically her kidneys. And after many years of slowly dwindling kidney function, the idea of a kidney transplant was brought up.

I knew immediately I would be the donor. #nodoubt

I don’t know how we know some things with absolute certainty, but I knew that when all was said and done, I would be the one.

Despite the fact that we only shared one parent, I just knew I was a match.

When I met my now sweetie I told him about my sister’s need and that I knew I would be the one. Even though we hadn’t completed all the tests, or been approved by the transplant team at UCSF, I knew it would be happening.

About six months after we met, he was by my side as I spent four days in the hospital after donating my right kidney to my sister.

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Not only that, but he helped me get out of bed (I couldn’t sit up on my own at first), washed my back in the shower, helped me dress, and took really good care of me while I recovered. This is one of the many reasons why I love him. #barelyknewme

My sister’s new kidney started working like gangbusters as soon as it was transplanted, and now – over 4 years later – her kidney function is over 90%. Not too shabby, considering when she went in for the transplant her function was below 10%.

There are few things I have felt so unshakeably certain of in my life so far – and I am happy to say that this was one of those times.

One kidney down,

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