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Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Jeffrey over at Transplant Alliance called the online community’s attention to a beautiful Web site called ellasliver.comElla Watson is a 25-year-old artist who somehow, remarkably, managed to survive biliary artesia as an infant and live relatively complication-free until she was 24.  She now needs a liver transplant, and her family and friends are considering being living donors.  Her art work is fun to check out — she has a photographic “medical militia” series with pieces titled things like “Shoot from the Gut” featuring waterguns and percutaneous bile drains – along with a perfect “mercedes” scar. 

I don’t know Ella and have never talked to her, but she is a member at Transplant Alliance, a great community to explore if you are experiencing transplantation in any way.

Thank you, Ella, for your energy, your humor, your spirit.  Let us know at GGF if there is anything we can do to support any living donors who might pop up to help. We’re here for them!

Here’s hoping your Web site can come down soon and you are on your way to a healthy new chapter.

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Living organ donors are some of the most naturally and intuitively generous people I know.  Many of us simply don’t give a second thought to the idea of giving.  The desire just comes to us like the impulse to breathe, or drink water when we are thirsty.

I found a very fun blog this weekend that I suspect my fellow living donors will enjoy: 2009: A Year of Giving Without Spending.  Author Jennifer is posting one idea per day about how to give something to the world without spending money — 365 days of great ideas and inspiration.   

Day 66 was “Live Organ Donation” (bless her!) and when I wrote to her this weekend to say thanks for thinking of it, she amended her post to link to our Web site, aw! Thanks, Jennifer! (And thanks for the daily inspiration.  You are making a bigger impact than you may realize by spreading your positivity and sharing your gifts.)

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Score another achievement for kidney paired donation (or daisy chain transplants, or domino transplants, as they are sometimes called). Johns Hopkins in Baltimore joined Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City for a 12-patient, six-transplant cross-country kidney chain.

An anonymous altruistic living donor began the chain, and a paitent on the UNOS waiting list for a kidney was the last link. According to the Johns Hopkins news release, all six donors and all six recipients are recovering.

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My good friend Mindy, who’s also a Greatest Gift Foundation board member, is vegan, so she was delighted to see in this one excellent blog post a woman’s personal account that ties a vegan, pro-animal rights lifestyle with her other favorite topic, living organ donation. 

I noted with interest that the author, living kidney donor Hillary Rettig, was advised not to eat too much protein going forward so as not to strain the remaining kidney. I had not heard that before — had any of you who have given a kidney?

By far my favorite paragraph in Hillary’s essay is the very last one, which I’m pinning up in my office as an ongoing source of a smile.

Sometimes, I find myself wondering what my kidney is up to at the moment. “I wonder if it’s walking by the pond.” “I wonder if it’s working at the vet clinic.” “I wonder if it’s watching bad TV.” I guess I’ve come to think of it as being like a dog I gave up for adoption. I don’t wonder if it’s happy, though, because I know that if any kidney is happy, mine is — having found its “Mr. Right,” an amazing being who shares its values and is committed to helping keep other amazing beings alive and happy.

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I’m meditating today on two women I know who are having difficult times, one because her Mom is struggling with severe kidney problems in the wake of a liver transplant two weeks ago, and the other because, while she heals from her donation of her liver to her husband, he lies in the hospital, urgently awaiting another liver.  Sometimes, not even our greatest gift of love and self can be enough.  Or, maybe put another way, it has to be enough.

It’s Friday, and I want to share something beautiful with these two women and with the world.  Cheesy, perhaps, but I think Matt Harding’s Dancing 2008 video is the single most beautiful stream of bits and bytes ever to stream over the Web.  (That link is to the high-def version, which is so worth it if you have the ability to view it that way! If not the link to the lower-def version is on the page.) 

Happy Friday, and best wishes.

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Well, wow, this blog post from a living-donor recipient and his wife made my eyes get all teary through my smile:

http://writing4littleones.blogspot.com/2008/12/dear-john-letter.html

I am so profoundly grateful for blogs, which give our world this never-before-available window to the world and its beauty.  Thank you, Dixie and Paul, for sharing this!

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Jason Bleistein from my own neck of the woods here in the Twin Cities had a nice little Q&A-style write-up in the Minneapolis Star Tribune a few weeks ago.  The perfect little happy post for a snowy Saturday.  http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/35231829.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUF

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