The women in this picture are some of the most amazing people I know. We met more than twenty years ago, (which is about the time this photo was taken), at the start of my dental career. We worked together in the same practice and became life long friends along the way. Together we celebrated birthdays, weddings and have been there to help each other grieve the loss of loved ones. They accepted me into their lives despite the fact that I am a “Damn Yankee.” They have always given me their unconditional love and support, and now it is my turn to give back.
The years have seen many changes since this photo was taken. We lost our friend Bonnie twelve years ago. The rest of us will always remember her as a sweet and caring woman whose ability to show kindness knew no bounds. None of us work together any longer, and yet we all remain close friends. This friendship will soon be taken to the next level, as two of us will share so much more. Giving back has never felt better.
All the years we worked together, Paula was constantly battling a form of kidney disease. A private person, she seldom spoke of her condition. She always wore a smile as she came into the office. She never complained or felt sorry for herself, even though many of us might have in her place. Instead she gave encouragement to all of us, choosing to stay positive. Paula was and still is the best example of a true friend. A friend who is always giving of herself, and never asking for anything in return.
Late last year, Paula learned that her kidney disease treatments were no longer effective. After a very long battle, her kidneys were no longer functioning as they should. She would need to start dialysis, and she was being put on the kidney transplant list. We all prayed for an answer, and it came when I found out that I was a donor match. After much testing (I forgot how much I hate needles!!), it was determined that I am physically and mentally healthy enough to proceed as a donor.
There are no words to describe how humbling this is. I am able to give the gift of life to someone who means the world to me. Someone who was with me during the worst time of my life. I can think of no greater way to say thank you then giving back of myself.
On June 5th, Paula and I will go into surgery.
When we are finished, we will share so much more than friendship.
We aren’t all meant to be organ donors, but we can all do something to help others.
How will you start giving back?
Prayers and positive thoughts for my friend’s successful transplant surgery are appreciated and welcome.
Share your thoughts below, and start #LivingAbundantly today!