The day finally came when Gary was able to meet his kidney donor, Dan Porter, by phone. Dan is a very religious man. We could tell that his faith weighed heavily into his decision to make a life saving kidney donation. He is the 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. Dan originally set out to donate his kidney to his co-worker, Carissa. When he discovered they were not a match he and Carissa entered into a Paired Kidney Exchange. Within 4 hours (it usually takes up to 11 hours) Dan was matched up with Gary in Madison, WI and his co-worker was matched up with a donor in Minnesota. In total, the Paired Kidney Exchange had 6 pairs of donors and recipients. Dan sent us some videos and articles about his story. See links below.
Our Hero – Gary Meets His Kidney Donor
It Finally Happened
What can I say….it was a miracle. A beautiful anonymous living donor donated this kidney to Gary. Gary had kidney transplant surgery this week. So far so good. We are over the moon with gratitude. Still a bit numb. I just keep thinking of our powerful Team Gary from 5-6 years ago. All the incredible work you did. Look where it got us. Here is to Team Gary members who kicked off this crazy wild journey years back. We cannot thank you enough….I feel like you are such an important part of this life changing event today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Love, Marti & Gary.
Caring Bridge Website
Hi all. We will no longer be posting at livingdonorlove.com once we get the call that they have a kidney for Gary – God willing. We have created a Caring Bridge website for Gary’s kidney transplant journey. If you wish to stay in touch, please click on the link below.
Madison called today. They gave Gary the green light. They have agreed to put him on the active deceased donor list. There are a few administrative issues that need to be taken care of. They will call Gary next week to confirm those few details and at that time they will actually place him on the list. Oh My. Grateful and terrified all at the same time.
Saga continues….Madison, WI called us again today. They are so nice, by the way. They are reviewing Gary’s case again this Friday. They told us that there are two medical issues that they need to explore further before making a decision. We are guessing that when they call us back either this Friday or next Monday they will either say: 1. Yes, we will put you on the active list 2. No, we will not put you on the active list 3. We need you to take some additional tests before we render a decision. All I can say is Oy Vey!!!! P.S. Never heard from Northwestern Hospital today as they promised. Gary will call them tomorrow to find out what is up.
Got the Call, No Answer Yet
Ok, University of Wisconsin called us this morning. No answer. They need Gary to send a CD of one more test result. They told us we would have an answer no later than this Friday. Waiting for THE call. Then waiting for THE answer. I do believe that many have been through this trying process. Therefore, I am sure you can appreciate the toll this can take on a person, a family. Still the focus must remain on love, gratitude and purpose. Consciously choosing to not lose this time while we wait. It is a gorgeous sunny day outside. Let’s go enjoy the day and make a difference. Love.
Moment of Truth
Everyone has these “moment of truth” moments in their lives. A time when their is a cross road where life altering decisions get made. Well, one of our “moment of truth” moments is upon us. This coming Monday, the University of Wisconsin kidney transplant team will be calling us to let us know if they will put Gary on the active deceased donor list. Northwestern Hospital will be calling us on Wednesday to let us know the outcome of Gary’ kidney re-evaluation – are more tests needed, will they put Gary on their active deceased donor list, etc. What is the key life lesson here? Carpe diem, baby!
Just heard from Madison, WI. They have not reviewed Gary’s case yet. They will be doing so tomorrow. They told us they would give us a call either Friday afternoon or Monday morning to tell us whether or not they feel Gary is a viable candidate for the active deceased donor list. We look forward to answers one way or the other so we can get on with our life. Still have a lot of living to do!! Amen. Grateful.
Trying to Keep All Options Open
There has still been no word from the Madison, WI transplant team. Soooo, Thursday night we head downtown to stay the night near Northwestern Hospital. Gary will be going through the Northwestern Hospital kidney transplant re-evaluation again. An all day event. This transplant team is only available to Gary if we find a living donor in short order. It is a long shot but like Gary’s primary care doc advised us, keep all your options open for as long as you can. If you are one of the six living donors who stepped up five years ago to help Gary and are still willing to do so, or if you know who any of those people are or you are a new willing living kidney donor, please contact Northwestern Hospital transplant team and let them know you are willing to donate your kidney to Gary. Thank you.
So I have been told….Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. No calls back. Just waiting. In the meantime filling the days with love, gratitude and purpose.