May 3 is a day to remember as this was the day, years ago, when I donated a kidney to my “little” sister. Actually, she’s older than I am, but about half my size. She is a triplet, but her sisters don’t look a thing like her — they’re all fraternal.
She was the sister who always tormented me, drove me nuts, jumped out at me behind closed doors (and enjoyed my startled reaction.) She was the one who did something bad and arranged for Mom and Dad to blame me for whatever transgression. She was the one who chased my friends around on the front lawn to embarrass them. She would play that loud “Rock and Roll” music in the car while I would sit humming with my fingers in my ears.
She was also the one who got sick. So sick that we thought we were going to lose her. So sick that all of us lined up and got tested, and I was the lucky winner to be informed that we had the closest match when it came to the kidney she needed since hers had shut down. Truly, I believe I am the lucky one. It was weird that her triplet sisters were not as close a match as I was. Fa bene, sic volvere parcas.
She’s living well now, enjoying life, having fun. Best of all, she’s my best friend.
Be an organ donor. Sign up with your state motor vehicle office so “organ donor” appears on your driver’s license, but most of all, discuss your intent with those who will be asked at a time of crisis. It’s sad but true: even if you have signed a donor card and indicated your intent to donate organs upon death, your loved-ones who make decisions for you at a hospital will still need to give permission. Make sure they know your intent, so your organs can save as many lives as possible — and enable people to live longer, more productive, and happier lives with the beneficence of your gift.
Happy Kidney Day!