#1. Making the call - August 2011

I’m thinking about donating a kidney. I haven’t been asked to donate. I’m just thinking of donating it to someone I don’t know, someone who needs it. I’ve been thinking about doing this for around two years. Next week I start doing tests with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton to see about my eligibility to be a donor.

The biggest step was really making the call to the hospital. Up to that point, it was all just thinking in my head, and a few conversations with my husband. I had to decide; is this where it ends?  Just thoughts?  Or did I really want to give away a piece of my body?  I made the phone call. Actually I had to make a lot of phone calls. I wasn’t sure who to call, and people couldn’t really direct me to the right place. But eventually I was directed to the transplant clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which is around 50 kilometers from my home.

Right now I feel nervous, in an excited sort of way. It reminds me of the way I felt when I was waiting for my doctor’s appointment to find out whether I was pregnant. I wanted to be pregnant, I thought I might be pregnant, but I wanted to know for sure. I wanted a professional opinion about whether there was another life inside me.

Thinking about donating a kidney reminds me of this because I see it as giving life. Someone is dying because they don’t have a kidney. I have two. I can give away one and still live. Am I carrying around a piece of life inside me that I’m going to give away?  I don’t know, I’m waiting to find out!