My love of softball began when I was young and remained through adulthood, where I continued to play until a devastating knee injury took me out of the game. During that fateful game, as I slid into home base, I felt a sharp pain in my right knee and immediately knew something was wrong. When I visited my doctor I learned that I had a torn meniscus. This incident altered my life as I knew it. I was a very active person, I enjoyed sports, hiking, camping and traveling. I learned the hard way how one injury can drastically change not only your health, but your whole world.
Over the next three years, I endured three more repairing surgeries and countless hours of rehabilitation. In August, 2015, my doctor and I decided to move forward with a meniscus transplant from AlloSource. Because meniscus tissue needs to be matched for size, my doctor placed me on a waitlist for the transplant until a match became available.
I was told to be prepared to potentially wait for several weeks or even months to receive a match. To my surprise, I received the call within two weeks. My initial reaction was shock, followed by fear, and then sadness. The reason I was getting this call was because someone else had died. My heart broke for this stranger’s family.
Though my donor’s life ended, their decision to donate tissue created a new beginning for me. I know my transplant was different than a heart, liver or lung, but to me this is as important as any of those. I can honestly say without this transplant, I would not be up and walking. I wouldn’t be able to get out at all and watch my kids play soccer and run around the playground or even easily go to the store.
I have such respect for my donor. They were selfless and enhanced the lives of others because they made the decision to be an organ and tissue donor. I can’t thank them enough for this incredible gift.