A Christmas gift that lasts a life time

“She has been there for me and I have been there for her.” This is the story of a woman who gave her kidney to her best friend, so she could have a longer life and a higher quality of life.

A Christmas gift that lasts a life timeOver ten years ago we were introduced to Ms. Cathy Davis. We fell in love with her immediately. She is a nonprofit leader who is 100% committed to the people she serves, just like so many of our readers. She gives of herself on the job, and off. We work with Cathy in the area of fundraising. She is always strategizing on how to ask for funds and resources that are needed by her agency. She is busy at work encouraging others to give.

But earlier this month Cathy was the donor. In fact, she was a living donor, giving her kidney to her close friend Lynn. They have been friends for 28 years and members of the same women’s group. Cathy saw firsthand how Lynn’s life changed after she began dialysis in 2016. She saw how her life became regimented – Lynn had dialysis bags delivered to her home, and at a certain time of day she had to hook herself up to a pump and manage her dialysis. This is not for the faint of heart!

Cathy wanted her to have a better life and she told Lynn she wanted to see if she qualified as an organ donor. Turns out she qualified. The next hurdle was whether she would be a direct match. Turns out she was. “Sometimes you have to go through one or two people to be a match, but it came together quickly, and I was pleased to do it. I am a spiritual person and God put it on my heart and I did what I was called to do.”

Earlier this month they both went into surgery. Cathy’s surgery took 2.5 hours. She was out of the hospital in three days and is now healing and regaining her strength. Her time off from work is covered under the Family Medical Leave Act and her medical costs are covered under Lynn’s insurance.

Here are a few things to know about this process. Organs from living donors have a better chance of taking, and they tend to last longer. You can’t get fired for being a living donor. There are incentives for people to be living donors. Livers and kidneys are the two most common living organ transplants. Nearly 6,000 living donor transplants take place each year, that’s almost 40% of all organ donations.

Last words from Cathy: “I gave her my kidney – it is no longer mine, now it is hers. I hope that others will do the same. It is not that big deal to give up a kidney when you see how much someone else gains. This is the best Christmas gift I have ever given: I have extended her life, and this will make her life better. All the other gifts pale next to this one! It is a very humbling experience.”

Here is a link to the National Kidney Foundation so you can learn more about being a living donor: https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/beadonor.

Copyright 2018 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

While we can’t help you with a transplant, we can help you grow your fundraising and plan for 2019. Call us at (901) 522-8727 or visit www.saadandshaw.com.

Image courtesy of 123RF.com.

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