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A New Life & A Baby Boy

After a few years of suffering from migraine headaches, I went to the doctor to find an answer to what was causing my headaches to get worse and more frequent; they were affecting my ability to work my full-time job as a creative writer, it was the fall of 1998.  They ordered routine blood work and a urine test.  Very soon they discovered that something was not right with my kidney function and I was referred to a nephrologist.  A biopsy was performed and the results came back, I had 20% function in both of my kidneys.  How could this be?  I was 24 years old, I felt healthy, I just thought I was a migraine sufferer who had to live with the headaches forever.

A kidney transplant was in my future.  The doctor said I may need a transplant in about 2 years, which was good news because the wait would be 2 to 5 years due to my blood type.  I had many mixed emotions, but the thought of being “disabled” was not an option for me.  I was a recent college graduate and I wanted to continue to grow with my writing career.

As the months passed, my kidney function worsened, it was now June of 1999.  My transplant team at the University of Minnesota said it was time to schedule my transplant.  Since my mother and sister were tested in January to see if either of them could be a potential living donor for me, we were able to set the date.  My Mom was going to be my kidney donor.  The date was set, October 5, 1999!

The Sunday before the transplant, we gathered with my Mom’s family, lots of uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents.  I remember as we all held hands, bowed our heads, and prayed for a successful surgery for both of us.  I was at peace at that moment, I was ready for what the future had in store for me.

Evan takes a seat in the Donate Life Ohio Green Chair.

More than a decade later, I am here, healthy, happy, a success, a wife, a mother!  ‘A mother,’ two words I thought I would never use to describe myself, but today I can.  Evan is the light of my life, a warmth in my heart, a love that leaves me speechless.

I love you and thank you Mom for bringing me into this world, taking care of me all those years and recently when I needed you the most.  Your gift is a gift that keeps on giving,  LIFE!

Ted and Shireen on their honeymoon

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