Dashing For My Dad
My family was blindsided in March of 2000. My dad had gone to the doctor for a cholesterol check and received a call later in the day that the blood work was “off.” The doctor went on to say that dad had to see a nephrologist (a doctor that specializes in kidney care) immediately.
It was a total shock to our family when we found out because he hadn’t shown any signs of being sick. My brother and I were still young so we didn’t really understand the severity of it, we just knew he was sick, but not a normal sick like the flu. Dad was fine one day and a mere three months later he was in full kidney failure. He needed a transplant and was placed on the national waiting list.
As soon as my family found out the dire need for dad, we were tested to see if anyone in the family was a match. My dad’s sister, Michelle, was a perfect match. After only four months on dialysis, dad was one of the lucky ones; he received his transplant on September 26, 2000. My aunt gave the living gift of life to my dad. With that gift of life, dad has been able to renew his wedding vows, walk me down the aisle, soon watch his son get married and will meet his first grandchild this July. He loves that he got to return to the outdoors (camping, fishing, hiking, biking). He’s even taken up running!
To honor my aunt and the gift my dad received, my mom and I coordinate our Dash for Donation team, Team Simms, which has grown over the eight years we have been involved. This year we’re excited to have 36 people on our team – our largest team ever! Thirty-six friends and family members who walk to celebrate my dad’s second chance; thank my aunt for giving the ultimate gift; and to advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation. Our family has witnessed the miracle of life and will do everything we can to encourage others to DONATE LIFE!
I invite you to join me this year as we Dash on Saturday, July 12. If you can’t make the event, and even if you can, please say yes to organ donation. You could help save and enhance lives and give hope to people, families and communities. Register as an organ, eye and tissue donor by saying “yes” at the BMV or clicking here to register online.
The Dash for Donation means everything to me – it drives home the thought that family is more powerful than anything. As soon as we finish this year’s race, we’ll begin planning for the next year!