By Bob Comeans
I have three women in my life who are special.
They all have several things in common.
One, they all know me, which in itself really isn’t anything special. Two, they really don’t think they are anything special, and three, they are living kidney donors which, in my mind, makes them pretty darn special.
Living kidney donors, what does that mean, exactly? It means these three women willingly stepped forward and donated a kidney to someone who needed it more than they did.
I am married to one of these women, my brother is married to one of these women, and a good friend is married to one of these women. Two brothers, married to two women who have donated kidneys. That’s got to be some kind of record, but I have no idea where. The third friend, I consider him my brother although we are not related.
In a time of someone’s need, these three women accepted the risk of a major surgical procedure. They endured months of medical testing and procedures to check for compatibility. They arranged for their children’s care. They asked for help from their extended families. They prepared for scars on their bodies. They trusted their dedicated health care professionals. They relied on insurance companies to provide coverage. They prayed to the God of their faith. They wrote final letters to their husbands, to their children, and hid them in family bibles in case, just in case.
These three women have three husbands and six children between them. They have full lives with fulltime responsibilities. They have jobs, manage money, cook, shop at the mall, chauffer kids, attend dance recitals and boy scout meetings, maintain happy marriages, work out at the gym, and really just do most of the same things that most of us ordinarily do.
A day came into each of their lives, however, when they left ordinary behind.
One woman, my wife, upon learning that our eight year old son was in kidney failure, got on her knees and begged me to let her give her kidney to save our son. Her kidney lasted eight years in his body before it failed.
One woman, my brother’s wife, told her little sister to go ahead and start your family, that she would give her kidney to save, their brother. To this day, her kidney continues to function within her brother’s body.
One woman, a casual friend, responded to a forwarded email plea that her husband had received from me as we searched for a donor. She asked me to please let her give her kidney to save my son, as his first transplant failed. Her husband knew her answer was yes when he walked in the door that night. The sparkle in her eye answered for him. Her kidney has lasted two years in my son’s body and is still going strong.
A brother who has grown into a married man with married responsibilitie, a son who became an Eagle Scout and headed to college with the goal of becoming a flight nurse on a life flight helicopter service, and three women who just went back to being, women.
Lives changed forever, with families changed forever, by women who changed forever.
Elizabeth, Sheilia, and Caren, three women who gave, to save, Michael and Connor.