Well, here I am...one year after donating a kidney. When people ask, I often say I feel no different now than I did before donating a kidney. Physically, my life is almost exactly the same. About the only thing different now is that I think twice before adding salt to a meal. Oh and also I think often that I should drink more water(maybe this year I will ACTUALLY drink more water!) But that is about it. It's as simple as that. Me with one kidney is the same as me with two kidneys. And that is the cool thing about living donation. If I didn't have the physical scars to prove it, I would have a hard time convincing anyone that I had actually done it.
Now, if we are talking about other aspects of my life besides the physical, well those have certainly changed. I have gained a new sister in Sara -- and a whole new family in all of her relatives and friends! I have learned so much about organ donation in general and have truly become an advocate for it. I have found out how much my friends and family care about me with all of their love and support. And I have been forever blessed.
This coming Friday I am getting a permanent reminder of my journey...a tattoo! As of this moment I still do not know where on my body the tattoo will be, but I am planning on getting a small cartoon kidney with the date of our surgery, July 21, 2011. A very talented artist, Dawn Greenwood, will be doing this for me. I cannot wait!
As I look ahead to the future I know that my goal is to tell my story wherever God opens the door. My hope is that it will accomplish two things: the first being to share my journey of faith, and the second being to promote organ donation. I thank God that he has given me this journey. My life has stayed the same...and my life has forever changed.