#12. Twelve years - October 2011

I was reading about kidney donation on the internet and came across the statistic that the average life of a transplanted kidney from a deceased donor is 5 years. The average lifespan of a kidney transplanted from a live donor is 12 years.

I felt a pang of disappointment when I read that.  Twelve years…  I thought my donation would save someone’s life permanently, giving them the opportunity for a long life. But reading more I realized that having a transplanted kidney means taking anti-rejection medication, and while that is infinitely superior to dialysis, it is still not a picnic.

Twelve years. If I had died twelve years ago, my daughter would have been in grade 4, and my son in grade 2. What have these twelve years meant for me? Everything! I’ve been able to see them grow up, to help them with school, to help them mature and make decisions on their own. If I was going to die at 38, and someone was able to give me a gift that would allow me to live until I was 50, that would have meant the world to me. Twelve years is still a lot.