It's been a week and a half since we traveled to Froedtert for all of my testing. I am patiently waiting for the outcome of the testing. They said one to two weeks, however I am guessing it will be more like two as I know these things certainly take time. I have talked to many people as they are starting to find out that I am considering being a donor. I have to laugh every time someone says I am such an angel or hero for considering the donation, because in my eyes it is just something that God has called me to do. He has blessed me with so much that I cannot imagine telling Him I will not give some of it back. But I understand that people think of surgical risks, time off work, and let's be honest...the PAIN...and think I might have gone off the deep end. Trust me when I say that there are times that I have thought maybe I am crazy too, but then something will happen to remind me that this is the right thing. For instance, today I was walking at the dog park with Jack and thinking about all of this. I had the fleeting thought that maybe I was taking too big of a risk. When I got home I got on my Facebook for a little while. About halfway down the first page I looked at I saw that a friend of mine had posted a story about a campground owner who had a kidney transplant from his niece. He is now designating a weekend at his campground to bring donors and recipients together to celebrate life! And that confirmed it for me once again...celebrating life...that is why we do the things we do for other people. To celebrate both their life and ours!
These past couple of weeks I have been reading about the policy of Organ Donor Leave. Several large hospitals, universities, the federal government, the state of Wisconsin, and some companies have instituted an Organ Donor Leave policy. The policy usually states that any organ donor will be paid 100% of their salary and benefits for up to 30 days and any bone marrow donor will be paid 100% of their salary and benefits for up to 7 days. This got me thinking. I work for the Marshfield Clinic. Although we have a very generous medical leave policy for both doctors and staff, we do not have a specific organ donor policy in place. Since we are a nationally recognized clinic and a leader in the healthcare industry, I feel we should have a policy in place. So I wrote a proposal and submitted it this past week to the president of the Clinic, the COO, and the HR director. A day later the HR director e-mailed me back and told me he had discussed this with the VP of our clinic(who also happens to be an oncologist who visits our center) and the COO. He then promised to include this discussion on the June or July Personnel Review Committee meeting agenda! He also promised to notify me of the date of the meeting well in advance so I could attend if I wanted to. I am so proud of them for even considering this as a policy! Hopefully it will come to fruition. If I am a match I will donate no matter if this policy is in place or not, but if this would make it easier for even one person to take time off work to be a donor how great would that be? We need to do everything possible to break down barriers that stand in the way of donation. There are so many people waiting on the list and it grows each and every day.
Until later...thanks for reading!