(Writer’s note: Since I am busy with a few, no I’ll be more accurate, lots of research papers, I thought you might like to hear from my donor Felesia Buczynski, or as I like to refer to her, Saint Felesia, on the first anniversary of my transplant. Hey, if it wasn’t for her, I would still be waiting for a kidney. I got a second chance, now let’s hear from Felesia and her point of view.)
I have always heard older adults say that the more birthdays you have, the quicker they start rolling around. I totally understand and agree with that statement more every day. It surely does not seem like a year has passed since Katie Holland and I were beginning the testing process to see if we were compatible for me to donate a kidney to her. Maybe prior to the actual surgery, it felt like a lifetime (Katie knows exactly what I am talking about), but now a year later…time has flown by. In this past year, I have taken every opportunity afforded to me to speak to small groups and individuals on the great need for more living kidney donors. The waiting list for deceased donors could be five years or greater. Some people do not have that long! I have reached out to others on social networks and I have actually been a “buddy” to some that are in the testing phase and eventually donated. That is a great feeling to know that I was able to communicate with others that have seen the need and talked them through all phases along their journey. It is so interesting to hear everyone else compare their unique experiences and find that no two stories are exactly alike.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a Tarheel fan, but I will tell you that the medical staff on the Abdominal Kidney Transplant team is top notch! My nurse coordinator told me that other potential donors probably would not believe my story because I have fared so well. I honestly believe it has to do with attitude and amazing prayer warriors. I knew from the beginning that if I could save someone’s life by donating blood, bone marrow or even a kidney, there would be no second thoughts. I put myself in Katie’s parents’ shoes, knowing that every minute of every day, I would spend praying for a living donor to come forward. You do not have to know someone in need to donate. You can donate anonymously. This Halloween, why not contemplate giving a “treat” to someone in need. Trust me, there is nothing “scary” about it. Happy Birthday “Little Felesia!” Study hard, Katie; life is good.
Katie Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Felesia Buczynski can be reached at email@example.com.