I Finally Decided to Get Rid of that Spare Kidney

Today is a big day for me.  I’ve been on Twitter long enough to barely roll my eyes as I delete the regular recommendations-of-who-I-might-like-to-follow e-mails without a thought- but today, by chance, I decided to open one.  I was informed that @whitelightweb was following someone and I think she’s very cool so I read @pucknbass’s bio and discovered that he’s a ‘ComicGeek’, a writer, an ‘ArtcoreBlogger’ whatever that is…  Generally worth a follow, you know.  Now, as is my usual custom these days, I scroll through some tweets just to confirm my initial interest and something jumps out at me “So it’s official.  Ill (sic) need a new kidney in next year or so :(“.  At which point I better contextualise:


Last night I was told that my Grandad’s sister, Aunty Pat, has inoperable lung cancer.  She is one of the most inspirational people I know.  She- is/was?- a cancer survivor who worked tirelessly with the Lyndale Centre in Knowsley (www.lyndalecancersupport.co.uk) to improve quality of life for other cancer patients.  Before she herself was diagnosed she knew the disease all too well as she supported her daughter Helen through it.  Helen’s was diagnosed with cancer twice, and treated successfully but during reconstructive surgery fell victim to the MRSA ‘superbug’ and died at 32.  That was over ten years ago now and, incredibly to me, Pat has remained strong, altruistic and endlessly compassionate.

So…  When I see a young man looking for something to save his health- to save his mother going through what Pat went through- and, theoretically I could give it to him…  The proposition strikes me as an absolute no brainer.  What better way to honour my Aunty?  And what better gift can I give to someone than more time to live?

Through tireless research (honestly…) it transpires that donors and recipients need to be matched on blood and tissue types.  I imagine that the chances of me being a match with @pucknbass are very slim. He lives in Canada which has been a dream destination of mine ever since I got into Twin Peaks so I’ll be more than tempted to travel if I am!  However even if I don’t match him there are around 7000 people in the UK on the waiting list at any given moment so it stands to reason I’ll find someone to take my spare?

Pretty soon I’m going to have to discuss this with my partner.  This will be a hard job, we’re very different people.  I will presume that I’ll brush off the operation, he’ll think it’s not worth the risk.  I am a mother so it’s not great practice to put myself up for unnecessary procedures and, yeah, if one of my boys ever needs a kidney I won’t have one to give.  But I work on the assumption that neither of them will, and if they do- well I’m not the only family member, and there’s altruistic strangers like me (who are only a click away on sites like http://www.matchingdonors.com) and to be frank I’m well expecting organs to be custom grown from stem cells in laboratories by the time they reach adulthood so I’m just not over-worried.

Tonight I’m signing up for that site, tomorrow I’m sorting out the tests I need or an appointment with my GP so he can sort out the tests I need.  Then hopefully before long I’ll be saving someone’s life- and with minimal effort, because let’s be honest, laying down on the operating table will be a luxury for a mum of two preschool children who usually spends about 20 hours a day on her feet.


2 thoughts on “I Finally Decided to Get Rid of that Spare Kidney

  1. Elizabeth Hobson, you are a remarkable human being. Not that anyone isn’t remarkable (that’s kind of your point, right?), but you know what I mean. I fear a lot of people will find this little project of yours extreme and maybe strange, but I find it nothing but courageous. It takes some guts to lose some. Wow, did I really make that joke? Well, I mean it.

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