Wednesday, December 24, 2008

05.19.2008 - Cheryl's Story

From Julian's COTA journal.

Cheryl Humble is Julian's kidney donor. I asked her if she'd write something for the blog, as a way of letting you get to know her story. She wrote this yesterday.

So it's more shopping day till surgery :)

Just kidding, though I have been here three weeks straight now and I have done my fair share...........gotta fit in here in California!!

Well I'm excited to see it all coming's been almost a year now since me and Stacy first talked about kidneys and such, and to be almost hours away is So great.

So this is how it all kind of began.

Stacy worked with my twin sister for six years in Colorado, so I knew her only in passing. Then last July I was in Colorado visiting, and went to see the fireworks with a "lot" of people from the school and a rainstorm descended obstructing the display.....leading to way too many people cramming into a house to wait it out.

And so I bumped (literally) into Stacy and there was no moving at that point so we talked and talked and had such a blast, we ended up hanging out the next day too and we kind of discussed Julian and his situation but not in depth, just sort of in passing.........they had a doctors appointment next day and I tagged along. Was curious about my blood type, not knowing was driving me mad (How could I not know!?!?!?) :) oh the madness.

So we went and got me blood typed just for curiosity's sake and we turned out to be the same. And so I flew home the next day to Massachusetts and I thought about it a lot....just being in the Children's hospital briefly got me nostalgic.

I grew up with multiple birth defects as well, and spent most of my life (20 and earlier) in and out of the Shriner's Children's hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was always difficult being there and then coming home and not having anyone understand.....most of the time no one asked any questions because they didn't it always felt like a large part of my life was unknown to anyone else, and I was just half myself because I had/have so many wonderful memories of my hospital stays, but no one really seemed to want to know, so it's always been my own.

Anyway being with Stacy and Julian at the Denver Children's Hospital really made me feel connected to his life and what it will be. Started thinking a lot about donating my kidney, it's a huge process as I've learned so I told her I wanted to and we started slow, tests here and there..............temporarily talked about him waiting to get a cadaveric kidney last November, but I still really wanted to do it even though we didn't talk about me still doing it.

But it came up again in April of this year and I really, really felt like this was what I wanted and was meant to do.

Was able to move out of my Apartment by April 29th, moved all my stuff into my parent basement and flew here to California April 30th.

Was supposed to be here for three days of testing and then home till further notice, but two things happened:

"A of all" , I lost my wallet :( somewhere between the Ronald MacDonald house I was staying at and a Two hour walk that took me through a park, under an overpass, through a train station, downtown , in and out of six shops (one being an amazing chocolate shop) and ended at Borders book store :) so yeah, wallet as good as lost at that point.

And "B of all" the kidney coordinator happened to ask me to stay longer the day I was supposed to fly home and maybe we could do surgery the following week!!!
So here I am, My wallet was conveniently returned to me a week later before a three day trip to L.A. so that was a surprise and boosted my confidence in people in general ! had everything in it including my $12 cash, and even my library card ( of course I brought it to Cali!! )

So now we have a set day for surgery and its SO close......

I check in to the hospital tomorrow sometime and then surgery Tuesday. I feel ready and excited to see what comes of this moment in time. Life sustains life, and I just can't believe I get to be that for Julian.

I feel as though God's showing me so clearly how my life has been made for a purpose and everything fits together so perfectly if I surrender it in His hands......who would have thought me being tiny and O+ and a waitress with lots of time on her hands....would have made me capable of being a suitable kidney donor, or that years spent in the hospital would make it a more comfortable process by eliminating a bit of the fear of the unknown.

Not that this is the big climax of my entire life, but it's exciting to look at the process of my last 27 years and to see all God has done, and How he takes things in the past and fits it perfectly into the present, showing me everything is for a reason.

I am grateful to be here, and proud to be a part of Julian's life............. May he live to be 100 with my coffee enhanced kidney :) (I tried to cut back in preparation!!! it just didn't work out)

Thanks everyone,