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  • lfilas6

Happy New Year!!!

Hello friends,

Happy New Year! I pray that we will all have another year of dreams and wishes coming true in 2022. Making memories has become very important for me over the past couple of years. They fill me with joy so I hope the same goes for you. We never know how much time we have on this Earth so remember to make each moment count.

Sometimes when Tom and I have a spat, I remind him, “Hey, be careful, I might not be around tomorrow. So let’s just show each other love." How many times do you think about that? Unfortunate, it's very real to me. We are both lucky to be alive following our cancer diagnoses.

To those who have been asking: No, I do not have a match yet. However, I feel it will happen this winter or spring. I have been very content since my campaign started and believe that it’ll happen when its suppose to. God will provide for me when it’s the right time. He knows. I have all the faith in the world it’ll happen.

I may have said this before, but when I first started this campaign, it was all about me getting a living kidney donor. But within weeks, the goal/mission changed. It turned more into educating and providing the public with the knowledge to know how important the living kidney donor program is. That is exactly what’s happening. You giving life to an unknown person is the greatest gift ever. Every day, I think of the conversations I’ve had with people who contacted me either through phone, email, text or messenger. I felt a connection with all of you. I remember what you said to me, I remember my tears because of what you said to me, and all the emotions I felt. All of you who have registered to donate fills me with hope. All 64 of you!

One of the great memories that make me laugh is when a woman I knew from a distance stopped by my home and told me the advocate said she had to loose 40 pounds to be considered. She told me that would take two years

and asked me if I wanted her to try!! I said, "Oh my gosh, absolutely not!" But it was how she said it, the confidence in her voice that she could do it and the willingness to try. I saw what was in her heart. IT'S AMAZING! This was a woman I never spoke to before... and now we do talk!! This new friendship has been one of the many rewards of this challenge I’m in.

I was at the cancer center a few weeks back and my nurse told me she and her mom where out driving when her mom yelled out, “Hey did you see Bonnie’s sign? I signed up to be her donor!” Because of confidentiality laws, my nurse couldn’t say anything like “yeah, I know Bonnie. She’s one my patients.” But that tells me how many people in our communities across Lake County and others have been made aware of a need and are willing to make this personal sacrifice. I couldn’t ask for anything more. (Well, maybe a new kidney!!! Ha!!!)

Once I recover from the kidney transplant, I plan to stay involved with Northwestern Medicine Hospital’s Living Kidney Champion program. I'm not sure exactly what I’ll do, but because of the overwhelming response I received from all of you - and because of the hope you all give me that keep me smiling - I will not let that go to waste. You have all kept me going these past 10 months and I love all of you for it. I will help others to experience what you have given me.

Warmly and forever grateful,


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