Sorry its been so long...
Updated: Sep 17, 2021
It’s been a few months since I last wrote --unacceptable. I am sorry. So many of you are invested in my success and well-being and deserve to know how I am doing. There’s a long answer.
First of all, I am doing well. I have good days and better days. Tom, my children, grandchildren and close friends continue to remind me I have so much to live for. They give me their gentleness on the good days, and all the laughter and joy on the better days. Tom and I have started making plans one day a week to get out of town. Sometimes its overnight, or driving a distance for lunch, or just running errands. But those little private times gives us memories and provide us the time to just smile at each other and hold hands. And all the WhatsApp calls from the grandchildren are so much fun. Except when they put the phone down on the floor and I get to look at a ceiling while they are telling me stories. Or the one time, my granddaughter Mary wanted to play hide and seek and put the phone under the bed!!!!! Their calls are never expected and fill me with so much love and laughter. I notice Tom watching me while on these calls. He sees my eyes light up and joy fill my heart.
I am amazed how many people - many of you who I don’t know personally - have taken a selfless move and filed out the health questionnaire. I am in awe of your thoughtfulness. Every two to three weeks I speak to my advocate who updates me on the process and the progress of the person who is being tested and what phase they are in. They share no names, no details, which is always best for all.
I’m so excited to announce that Northwestern Medicine Chicago has 62 donors attached to my name!!!!! Can you believe that? And you come from many different places. Lake, Will, DuPage and Cook counties. In addition, people applied from Tennessee, California and - just last week – a very sweet man from Egypt. (Unfortunately, he figured out I was in the USA and we both decided it was too far for him to travel. We laughed about it, but he was disappointed because he just decided to donate a kidney to someone. It sure made my day and lifted my spirits. Someone will get his gift of life!
The week before that, a gentleman who had just moved his work territory to the area, reached out after seeing my signs. He said God blessed him many times, let him live at times he didn’t deserve and wanted to show his gratitude to God. He felt God kept him alive to save another and he could do that by donating a kidney. This was an extremely emotional call. What can you say? Thank you? Those words can’t express what I am feeling at the time in my heart and the hope I see for my future.
The week before that a young man contacted me when he started working in the area by my home. He saw my signs, read my story and knew this was a calling. He has a young family, a good paying job which allows his wife to stay home with the children, but he felt he could take the recovery time off. He filled out the questionnaire before we even got off the phone. Just amazing.
Every one of you who have texted or sent me a personal message or called me for information, I felt a personal connection to. Another woman named Elizibeth is Polish like me and had just turned 50 in August. All she wanted for her birthday was to donate her kidney to me. We connected instantly! We left like we could be life-long friends.
I had a good working relationship with a developer some 15 years ago while serving as President of the Lake County Forest Preserve. He was in town visiting his mom, saw my sign, called and signed up. He felt in his heart he was the one. 15 years later! It was like talking to an old friend.
An older man on dialysis saw my sign at a local Fox Lake restaurant. He was told by his doctors he was a candidate for a kidney transplant but felt it too challenging and daunting. Once the owner told him my story, he told his wife he was inspired and would do it. His wife said then I will go see if I am match. She was! He is now off of dialysis and has a full healthy life ahead of him without dealing with all the impacts of dialysis treatment.
Since May, 22 people have been eliminated for many different reasons, but I cannot thank all of you for trying to make this happen. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for caring enough to make such a sacrifice for me. I am and will always be grateful and comforted by your love and thoughtfulness.
Since they can only process one person at a time, it can take 6 weeks to 3 months before either they are eliminated or there’s a match. It’s a long time for me but I have learned to have patience - a quality I never had. LOL. One of the earlier persons I knew signed up, called and spoke to the living donor advocate about why she wasn’t called yet. They had a long conversation and at the end, the women decided if she is not my donor, she would be willing to donate to anyone. She believed so strongly on the living donation program and the honor of saving someone’s life. Can you imagine?
So many good things have come from my campaign – like the stories I shared above. I am content waiting because I believe it will come when it’s my time. The signs are working. Please keep putting them up and if they need to be repaired, please drop me a line and let me know. Each one of you that has a sign is playing a significant role in my future! Thank you.
When I get the call from NW hospital, you will be the first to know. (Well, actually, Tom and my family will know fist, but I promise you will be second.)
Keep the prayers coming!