I only just realized that there is such a thing as World Kidney Day. And it’s today!
As I’ve mentioned before, you tend to forget that you’re a kidney donor after a while… Okay, so, “forget” is not the right word. But you just don’t have it in mind that often.
Recently, I was reminded when someone found my name on an online list of willing “living donor buddies” on the living donors online web site.
I have to thank that person, because it made me think back to what the donation was like and all that I am grateful for now. I remember thinking through my decision to donate and all the “what ifs”. What if my body can’t handle it? What if my recipient’s body rejects the kidney? What if something goes wrong with one of the surgeries? The list goes on. You have to think through these things, because they are real. And, in the end, it’s a personal decision that only you can make.
But you know what is indisputable? It feels good to give. It just does. I challenge you to give of yourself and not feel good.
In fact, I will even offer you a way to give! … I am once again raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) through a program called Team in Training (TNT). It has nothing to do with my kidney donation. It’s just an organization that is dear to my heart. Since I was lucky enough to get selected in the lottery for the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim (4.4 miles from one side of the bay to the other), I decided to raise money for LLS while I train. LLS funds important research that will help blood cancer patients in the future, and a lot of the research actually has implications for other types of cancers. If you can find it in yourself to give, please visit my donation page.
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do
The something that I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale~
Early Spring Playlist
- 10,000 Emerald Pools – BORNS
- What You Call Love – Guster
- Every Time Katie – David Wax Museum
- Second Chance – Peter Bjorn and John
- Genghis Khan – Miike Snow
- Northern Highway – Martin Courtney
- Return to the Moon – EL VY
- Electric Love – BORNS
- Mojave Phone Booth – David Mead
- Breathe In – Frou Frou
- Better – Regina Spektor
- Birds and Stars – Elephant Revival
“Lake Placid is going to be totally different from Arizona,” our friend James warned me, adding, “I just want to give you the 911 on that.” I laughed and said it was scary for him to be ‘giving me the 911‘ instead of ‘the 411‘. Indeed, I already knew that Ironman Lake Placid is a lot harder than Ironman Arizona. The bike and run portions are both hilly, and the weather can be rainy and even steamy; but the scenery and overall race experience promise to be spectacular. So, since I already have ‘the 411’ on it, my goal will be to make sure my husband and I won’t need ‘the 911’! We are both signed up to do Ironman Lake Placid in 2015.
That means we’re in for some more intense training and, hopefully, an even healthier lifestyle in the year to come. We’ve certainly taken things a lot easier in the year since we did Ironman Arizona together in 2013. And we could both stand to get even more firmly back on the healthy eating bandwagon. It’s going to be another wild ride!
In the meantime, I am wrapping up my first season coaching for Team in Training, which is a program that helps people train for endurance events while they raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The people I am coaching are amazing! They are driven; they set goals; they care about other people; they care about each other; and they know how to go the distance. They remind me every week that while we preoccupy ourselves with the challenge to go another mile; other people are battling for their lives. So, to just do an event is not enough. Let’s also raise awareness, raise funds, raise up these patients and their families. Let’s raise the bar. We can’t cure the diseases, but we can do something. And so we do.
My father is a cancer survivor. He didn’t have a blood cancer; he had colon cancer. But I still feel like helping LLS is helping people like him, because blood cancer research has led to treatments that can be used against other forms of cancer. I was able to help my stepfather by giving him a kidney. But I couldn’t give my dad a colon. That would have been so cool if I could have! Still, I think about him and how he has gone on to live fully despite what cancer took from him. He is an inspiration to me!
I’m keenly aware that things don’t go so well for all cancer patients. One of the Lymphoma patients that we consider an honored teammate with Team in Training just started a new chemo regimen in her five-year battle against cancer. It will mean the fifth time she will lose her hair. And yet, she faces it with grace. The other day, she posted a picture of herself while she was getting a treatment, and her beautiful smile told you that her spirit is still strong even if her body is tired. She is also an inspiration to me!
How does Lake Placid compare to losing your hair and parts of your body to cancer? I think that’s all the 411 I need to keep me going!