Saturday, August 30, 2014

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much and Donate Life

I have always supported the idea of organ donation. 

I’m registered. 

It’s on my driver’s license. 

I have a green “DONATE LIFE” wristband and a pin somewhere. 

The thought that one day, when I’m oh so geriatric and have squeezed out every ounce of life I could possibly manage, one of my organs could potentially give someone a second chance at life is pretty miraculous and humbling. Sign me up.

The whole organ donation thing hit close to home and became even more of a phenomenon when I learned that my niece, Nicole, was to become a LIVING donor. LIVING. She is donating a kidney to her father on September 16th.

Gamut of emotions. Pride. Fear. Hope.

I became Nicole’s aunt when I was a senior in high school. I went on to Cleveland State after graduation. Often I dragged a toddler Nicole along with me. Willingly or not, she went to the book store with me. She went to the library with me. She looked adorable sporting the miniature Vikings sweatshirt I bought her with her famous teeny tiny high and tight pigtails. She was right there with me when I studied. And I do mean RIGHT. THERE. WITH. ME. Like, literally, hanging onto my leg. I wanted to be aggravated, but then she’d start humming or singing or acting cute and I just couldn’t. Damn her.

I’m quite proud or embarrassed to say, not sure which, perhaps both, that I probably inadvertently taught the girl her very first swear word.

She was my little side kick.

I gave myself all kinds of kudos and accolades back in the day that I was a good aunt.

Even given all of that, Nicole was eating some ice cream once. I mean digging into it and loving it. I said, “Boy Nicole that looks really good, can I have a bite?” Without missing a beat or even so much as lifting her head from that bowl, she stated clearly and without hesitation, “GET. YOUR. OWN.”

She has come a long way from those youthful bouts of stinginess. She HAS  learned to share. She has. Soooo much so… that she is now going to share her spare. She is going to donate a kidney. Whoa. That’s a way bigger deal than just letting me have a spoonful of a dairy treat.

With all that said and still pretty high up there, for me anyways, I truly believe with all my heart, that if I asked her nicely today, she would give me some of her ice cream.

Sharing is caring! You are a hero Nicole. We love you!

Please consider being an organ and tissue donor and giving the gift of hope.   

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