Saturday, January 12, 2013

Year Two: Embracing Life While Dreaming of the Future

One year ago today, we traveled to Stanford for our normal monthly appointment. We celebrated one year with the doctors who saved Marty's life. We called our transplant social worker and handed her a letter for our donor family. We always knew that someday we would know our donor though we knew it was a longshot the family would reply.

Just over a month and half later, we spoke to our donor's mother Debbie on the phone for the first time. What a long emotional conversation that brought such peace and completion. We no longer have wondered who our donor was? We know his name was Jerry and he was 18 years old for 24 days. His final act in life was that of hero, he saved this family of four and showed thousands that miracles do happen.

Bolstered with those facts, this last year has been a year of planning and dreaming. I remember when Marty first got sick, one of the first things we realized is that we had wasted so much time. Yes, we had lived a very full and wonderful life. We had wasted so many years of our twenties worrying about things that weren't important. We spent so much time focused on jobs and money that we had wasted away some of the really great days of life with worry.

When Marty got sick, I realized the foolishness of my ways and set forth to no longer worry. Of course, that was difficult when he was sick and I had some really bad days. When he got well, the new struggle was to not worry about rejection and our new found freedom being taken away. We spent  year traveling to and from Stanford only once really worried.

As the first year passed and the completion of knowing Jerry brought life full circle. We set out to achieve our dreams born from adversity. These are dreams to live big, dream big and achieve things we have always wanted. These dreams are ones we refuse to worry about instead embracing our precious gift at a second chance.

We are fortunate to have this second chance as a family. So many people die waiting for transplant and never get this second chance at life. We have it and are going to use it.

So I sit in a house littered with boxes, lists galore as we plan to drive off east to Knoxville,TN next month and put this new life to use. We have to do this, for us, for our kids and for Jerry. Life is short, too short to just sit on our dreams.

Marty is healthy, still no complications. Everything is going well and for that we're so thankful. We are looking forward to having a transplant center to visit in our new town at the UTenn. It will be nice to not have to travel 660 miles round trip to see his care team.  Just another one of the reasons we are moving.

Thank you all for being there, listening, reading along and supporting us along the way. We're always grateful for the support.

Thank you Debbie and Jerry, our lives will always be lived for Jerry. So thankful for the gift you gave our family.

One year ago today, I registered online along with a dear friend of mine to be an organ donor. I had done it through the DMV but have been told the best way is to register through a donor registry. We are huge supporters of the work being done through Taylor's Gift. Todd and Tara Storch donated their daughter Taylor's organs and then have gone on to promote organ donation in her memory. We love the work they are doing on behalf of those waiting for organs. Please visit their site and register to be a donor.

Their slogan is " Be a Hero, Outlive Yourself' " click on the picture to be directed to their site.

A/N; I have chronicled our journey with transplant on this blog. You can read the entire story by clicking on the tab titled "Marty's journey with renal failure and transplant''  above