I was honored to be asked to be part of a conversation with a local mother looking for a living kidney donor for her adult son in stage 5 renal failure who is on dialysis 10 hours every night.
Hugh gets his kidney. His story from University of Mississippi Medical Center
On-line and print article from SILENT SPORTS MAGAZINE.
Podcast interview by MOUNTAIN BIKE RADIO. Some bike talk (way too much, by me!) and kidney donation discussion.
Podcast interview by TEN JUNK MILES (TJM) Scott Kummer. First hour we talk about xc-skiing and mtn biking then the second hour we discuss my kidney donation.
Interview done after our bike ride from Plover to Madison 10 days before my donation surgery. FOX 47 TV, Madison, WI
Wisconsin Rapids, WI City Times Newspaper article. Taken during Plover to Madison ride.
Hugh my friend, You posted this a couple of days after THE ORGAN TRAIL FB page went live. I sat there staring at the screen, not knowing how to reply…..so I didn’t. I only hit the LIKE button. We all have seen the saying “ENJOY THE JOURNEY” on different items, trying to get us all to slow down and have a sense of gratitude and enjoyment where we currently are in life. I don’t know of anyone in my recent past that I have met who more exemplified that than you on the day we met last winter. I know in the 30-40 minutes as we sat and talked about the things we did that afternoon, something happened between us. Your positive attitude, your smile, something about your sense of joy, and obvious non-concern about the depth of your situation (that at that time I knew nothing about) must have spoken to me at an unconscious level. Why else would I have said so easily and confidently, in such a casual and committed way, “I’ll give you a kidney” as soon as it became apparent you needed one? I responded as soon as you told Lynn and me about your kidney failure. I didn’t even think about it before I said it. Not one thought of doubt or concern entered my mind — which is so strange because even though I personally knew about one person that had donated and lived a seemingly normal life on one kidney, I seriously had never before ever thought about donating a kidney. The thought of doing that had never, ever — not even in a milli-second of a passing thought — ever occurred to me. Never. Ever. My best buddy in life, the guy that wrote our story in the ABOUT section of this FB page, was the first person who knew I was going to donate a kidney after you and Lynn. (or Miss Lynn, as you refer to her). When I told Mark over the phone what I was going to do I heard the familiar short quick chortle/grunt/snort/laugh he does, immediately followed by the words “what the hell are you…?” but thankfully he didn’t finish, because maybe he knew intuitively that I wouldn’t have the answer to that question or he knew that eventually, he’d get the answer without asking me. But most likely he probably caught himself, respecting my decision as a close friend will do, even if it was maybe one of the most insane things I had ever mentioned to him, (and believe me, we’ve said some insane things to each other over the past 58 odd years), before asking me such a deep, personal and serious question in a somewhat laughing manner. I’m glad he never got the words out, because like your post, I wouldn’t have had the words to answer. I really still don’t. Maybe this post is an attempt to answer that question. After I approached you about sharing our journey together, in this very public format, you agreed and together we are setting out with very specific goals:- To help just one person hear something that might move them just a tiny bit closer to donating.- To end the slow agonizing walk towards death that dialysis is for so many with kidney disease.- To help someone experience the joy of the family of a recipient knowing that their son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister will not only live but live a life that is so normal most/many of us take it for granted. My journey, your journey, OUR JOURNEY has now opened up to include so many more. I’m grateful for that and I know we’ll help many people with our story. I’ll be looking up from the handlebars of my bike around 8 months from now…..just getting a far-away glimpse of the Natchitoches city limits sign. Keep smiling, buddy, your infectious love of life will have me pedaling just a bit faster as I roll past that road sign. Maybe, just maybe, by then I’ll have the answer for Mark that he caught himself from asking.
Lynn and I both read this book a few weeks ago. We both thoroughly enjoyed it, especially some of the back stories. The author, Dr. Joshua Mezrich, a surgeon at the UW-Hospital in Madison, is going to be the Dr. that performs my kidney donation surgery September 30th. I’m hoping to ride bike with him at some point before this is all over!!
Interview done before our ride to Madison from Plover. TV Interview, WSAU Wausau, WI
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