Today marks two years since I donated a kidney to a stranger. At this exact time, I was recovering from the anesthesia after surgery.
I’m not sure what else there is for me to say about it.
I’ve talked about how to me it was no big deal or extensive decision process. I woke up one day and decided to do it. Easy-peasy. And it was easy on a relative scale (my little investment versus giving someone a new lease on life). I would do it again if I had more kidneys to give.
I’ve talked about how I don’t care to know who the person I donated to is, what their socioeconomic background is, their skin color, their religious/political affiliations, if any, gender or age. It doesn’t matter. It wasn’t the point. They needed the kidney.
I’ve talked about how dire the situation in America is with how many people are waiting on the kidney transplant list (101,000), how many die each year while waiting (4,761) and how the ratio of deceased donors to living donors (and both combined) isn’t nearly enough to make up the demand difference. We need more living donors who are eligible to step up. To donate life!
I’ve talked about how at that time and in the 18 months thereafter, I struggled mightily with severe depression and suicidal ideation unrelated to the donation. And how poetic in a macabre sense it was to donate life while considering mine virtually over. But I’ve also talked about how much better I am now, even since the one-year anniversary of this deed.
So, what else is there to say? I’m not sure, but I have to keep “saying” something, not because I want people to know I donated a kidney or any undue adulation, but because as a living kidney donor, you by default become a living advocate for donating life. So, I must keep talking about it to show people that two-years out, I’m okay and that it was an easy-peasy decision with zero regrets on my part.
I suppose I should do the ending cliché (but still apt!) quote from Charles Bukowski, “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”
The person I donated to was a fellow human who needed a little help. They’re healthy now. That’s enough.