Gift of Life

Brittany - Belleville, Michigan
Entered on October 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Gift of Life

“We can’t save your organs. You will need a kidney transplant.” The words echoed throughout the sterile hospital room. My fate was sealed as I knew it. A life of endless medicine, constant needles and hospital gowns was not what I had imagined. I always dreamt of a life full of magic, endless paradise and happiness. This was my death sentence. My mom stood at my bedside sobbing as she heard the news, promising me beyond reason that she was going to be the one to donate before anyone else. Only being 15 at the time, I couldn’t have been more terrified.

I had never set foot in a hospital until this day nor had I ever been sick a day in my life. Kidney failure wasn’t even in my family’s vocabulary. The symptoms weren’t even very clear. I had been diagnosed with anemia and was being treated for it, but the symptoms never seemed to get better. That was when my pediatrician had sent me to the hospital to be looked at. The words kidney failure are still hard to comprehend six years later.

My second chance at life was set for January 20th, 2003. All of my family was in my hospital room waiting for the moment I would be called for surgery. My mom had gone in earlier to prep for the removal of her kidney. My dad stood at my bedside holding my hand as I was rolled into the operating room. I was never scared or nervous. I knew this was God’s choice for me, and I knew something better was ahead.

It’s been almost 6 years since that day my mom gave me the greatest gift of life. I have had many challenges to overcome even since then. A transplant is not a cure. It is a better chance for a normal life. To this day I still struggle with how to thank my mom for such a selfless gift. In a time when I was so helpless she was able to be so strong and stand up, and without even thinking, give me an organ of her own. Throughout the years I’ve realized that to thank my mom all I need to do is live this life to the fullest. By giving back I am in turn thanking all those who have ever donated an organ to someone in need. I believe by smiling a little bit more, laughing harder, and doing what I love will in turn be the biggest thank you my mom could ever hope for.