Scripture tells us, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NRSV).
It was my season to develop renal (kidney) failure. My wife and I were told it about it years go but, at that time, it was “No big deal,” it just had to be followed and checked from time to time I did not even feel sick!
This is a disease I would wish on no one. Why, if I didn’t feel sick? Because, for me,I went from feeling fine to feeling terrible, seemingly overnight. With this disease you need to watch your diet closely, eventually receive one of the five types of dialysis daily, pills - and more pills and even more pills as the disease progresses. Our life quickly become centered around the disease. You are no longer living life, you are fighting to not die. You are using every ounce of strength of just one day just to exist minimally. You don’t want to eat, you can’t sleep, and so forth. Some days you feel terrific and then, WHAM - you feel like death warmed over. Sometimes this happens with a day sometimes within severs hours. All the while my nephrologist (kidney doctor) tells me, “you’re going to get sicker before you get better.” Not only was he right but I did not realize to what extent.and for how long I would be sick.
Yet, I am one of the lucky few. Somehow (I figure by God’s grace) I was allowed to get prepared for a kidney transplant. Not everyone with kidney failure automatically get a transplant - only a lucky few. According to the National Kidney Foundation (2017), 100,791 people across the United States are waiting for a new kidney (as of 2016). If that was not sobering enough:
*Over 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month.
*13 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving kidney transplantation
*Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant list.
*In 2014, 4,761 patients died while waiting for a kidney transplant and another, 3,668 people became too sick to receive a kidney transplant.
So, as you can see, I am one of the lucky few who was gifted with a “new” kidney. But such a gift comes with a significant price tag. Yes, most of the approximate $330,000.00 organ and surgical costs is covered by insurance. Bu, unfortunately, this is only the beginning. Now has new medications to take - anti-rejection drugs approximately $17,000.00 per year). There are more than e few frequent visits to Emory Transplant Clinic in Atlanta. Of course we cannot forget the other costs: meals; hotels, gas, parking, and unforeseen out of pocket expenses. Getting an organ transplant is not cheap!
This is where I could use YOUR help.Thank goodness for insurance, but insurance is not enough. I need your financial assistance as well. I need the support of family and friends who are willing to help when another is in such desperate need. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that, “If you… satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10, NRSV). I need some of your light. I need you to make a financial contribution to helping me make this long-answered kidney transplant a reality and a success. But I simply cannot do it without you, your prayers and an financial assistance you could give, albeit $0.50 or the sky’s the limit.
Please help out a friend, a loved one - please help me out. If you have given before through the Georgia Transplant Foundation, thank you so very, very much. If you have not given yet or wish to give more, please do so now. So, as we enter the critical phase: supporting the new kidney in me. All donations are tax deductible.
So, I am asking all of you - some whom I know very well and some I do not know as well, to invest in something special - my life. I conclude with the words of our Lord:
All the nations will be gathered before (God), and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,you did it to me” (Matthew 25:32-40, RNSV).