Granted, I do have a soft spot in my heart for journalists in Mid-Iowa — but I especially love the ones who take time out to find my blog and then write to me when they have a story they think I might want to hear about! Hooray for Greg Eckstrom, sports editor of the Dallas County News, who published a marvelous four-part series following the story of Jim Steinberg, who received a kidney from his college roommate, Ryan Justis, and then went on to compete at the 2008 Transplant Games in Pittsburgh on Team Iowa.
The detail in Greg’s story is superb. My favorite has to be the moment when Jim called Ryan to tell him that he had just proposed to his girlfriend and she’d said yes. As he took that call, Ryan was sitting in the waiting room to get tested as Jim’s living donor — a fact that Jim hadn’t known ahead of time and still would not know after the call was over. Ryan chose not to tell him – not to spoil the happy moment with transplant talk, and not to get Jim’s hopes up in case Ryan was eliminated from donor consideration after testing. I can relate to Jim’s reticence to ask his friends to be tested as potential donors. Joe had similar feelings with his own friends and our extended family. I can also relate, perhaps more so, to Ryan’s resolve to go get it done. It’s a simple choice sometimes. Read the second installment of the four-part series for the part about Ryan as his living donor.