I’ve thought about donating for years. 2020, though, was a tough year for hundreds of millions of people. My family and I were fortunate. We needed to make adjustments, but we mostly were able to keep living and enjoying life. News and conversations showed me we were lucky. We were not immune to the problems, though. My wife’s grandma was in a nursing home. We weren’t allowed to visit her. She died from the virus before Christmas. We also lost our uncle, our aunt’s mom, and our grandmother’s best friend to COVID. COVID caused numerous job losses every week. Protests and struggles seemed to be occurring daily. I thought, “I can do more. Where can I help?” A sign popped up in my neighborhood about kidney donation. I told my wife, “I want to do this.”
Donating a kidney is completely free! That’s amazing! Admittedly, I did give them a kidney, but the whole procedure didn’t cost me any money. Also, I learned, should my one kidney ever fail, I would be bumped to the top of the list for receiving a kidney because I donated. They even had an answer for “What if someone in your family needs a kidney?” Five family members can be added to a voucher program. Should one of them need a kidney, they use the voucher and move up the kidney recipient list.
My kidney was couriered from Christ Hospital, to the airport, to Bethesda, Maryland, then to the recipient’s hospital before the end of the day. The operation was a success that night! My kidney left my body and had a new home hundreds of miles away all before midnight.
– Mark Stephens