That Time I (Hopefully) Gave Away A Kidney – Part 2 (But Seriously, Why Do You Want to Give a Kidney To A Stranger?)

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Aurora's medical bracelet while she waits for a kidney testOh my gosh! Is it finally time to talk about kidneys again?! Yes. Yes it is.

Starting today, I will be posting kidney chapters every Wednesday and Sunday night at 11:33pm. I look forward to sharing this with you, and welcome your comments!

Picking up from part 1, let’s start with why I want to give a kidney to a stranger:

I already talked about this in part 1, but that hasn’t been enough for some people. So, let my try to elaborate.

Even though it’s been years since I was in the hospital with my congenital heart defect, I still remember vividly what it was like. I don’t at all want to sound like “wah, wah, poor me.” The doctors and nurses made it as fun and comfortable as time in the hospital could be. However, it took a real toll on my life.

It definitely made me go through some crazy emotions. (I mean, I guess nothing can “make you” do anything, since we’re all supposed to have complete control over our emotions…) But, I certainly went through some crazy emotions during my time in the hospital (and for a while after getting out).

I think even the trajectory of my life changed. Part of that was definitely due to me and decisions I made. But part of it just kind of happened when such crazy health stuff happened.

I worked and stayed in school as long as I could, but eventually I quit both.

I just remember (so vividly) every part of my life being so wildly affected by my health problem. It ran my entire life. I couldn’t decide to take a job, or go on vacation, or make any of the normal decisions other humans can make, because my heart decided for me.

As much as we can try to focus on the bright sides, I would never wish that sort of trapped life on anyone.

When I found out I could donate a kidney to someone, helping them get away from that life (the one the hospital runs), to me, it felt like a total no-brainer.

People ask me why I want to give a kidney. But that’s never even really been a question in my mind. The only question I’ve ever wondered is, “How can I not?”

To me, quality of life = life. I’m not interested in just the idea of saving someone’s life. I’m interested in the idea of making it so that someone is free.

When I was in the hospital, if my health had been dependent on a stranger stepping forward to give me freedom, I would’ve desperately wanted someone to step up for me. Thankfully, all I needed was a great surgeon. And I got that. I was saved.

I can’t imagine knowing I could be a small part of giving that gift of freedom that was given to me, and then deciding not to be a part of it. That just doesn’t make sense for my life.

I hope this has possibly cleared it up for the curious. If you still have questions, you can always feel free to hit me with them and I’ll do my very best to answer! And we’ll talk more about kidneys next week!

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?