I have always been a registered donor on my driver’s license. That spurred the thought that if someday, someone needed a kidney or a liver, I would rise to the occasion.
In total, seven family members and friends attempted to become my friend Mark’s kidney donor, but I was the only one to pass the screening questions.
I made it through the first screening, and I told Ann (Mark’s sister), ‘I know I’m it.’
Not only did I pass the first round of screening questions, but I also passed all the medical and psychological evaluations. And my blood and tissue type matched Mark’s.
On the day I found out I was a perfect match for Mark, I called Mark’s family to let them know. They all decided to give the news to Mark in person.
We all had coffee the next morning, and I gave Mark a gift bag. Inside, Mark found a can of kidney beans.
“No kidney?” Mark asked.
“Nope, sorry,” I said, “but there’s a card inside.”
The card read: ‘Mark, this is the day we’ve all been praying for. You have a match. I’m your donor. I’ll see you at UNMC on June 1.’
Mark and I continued to have dinners together once a week to spend time together before the surgery.
Those connections and relationships are the biggest ways donation has changed my life.