It's been well over a year since I donated a kidney. Life with one kidney is just like life with two kidneys. I never really thought about my kidneys before, and I don't think about my kidney now. There is no change in diet or lifestyle for me, and I can't tell that a little 4 ounce piece of me is missing.
I know that I donated a kidney, but I don't think about that very often. I hope that the person who has my kidney is doing well...but I have no idea how they are. I just tried to help someone, and I have to leave it at that.
Or do I? I obviously can't donate another kidney to someone, but is there a way that I can encourage other people to donate? What I did was very doable. People are dying for a kidney. We have enough kidneys in Canada to prevent anyone from dying who needs a transplant. It's just that the kidneys are inside people. How can I encourage people to think about donating? I've written this blog to tell my story, but it's the very occasional person who stumbles across this (I can tell from my statistics!)
More effective was a short radio blog that aired on CBC about my donation. I taped an audio diary, and Steve Wadhams from the Canadian Broadcasting Company created a program on "Living out Loud". You can listen to it here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Living+Out+Loud/ID/2422643111/?sort=MostRecent
I don't know how many people listened to it, but I have gotten some surprised reactions from friends and acquaintances who were driving along listening to the radio, and suddenly heard my voice.
And then just this past week, John Longhurst, an old friend who writes a column in the Winnipeg Free Press, told a bit of my story.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/faith/pastor-leads-kidney-donation-drive-247991621.html He was wanting to promote kidney donation because World Kidney Day is coming up.
I don't know what other forums I might find to tell my story. It's a good story because it's nothing unusual, it's just an ordinary story about medical professionals being able to save a life because someone stepped forward. A family not having to visit a graveyard, but instead being able to have their loved one around.
I just hope that my story can plant a seed in someone's mind, so they start to think, "Why not save a life? What an amazing opportunity that would be!"