Let me back up for a minute…This past Saturday, I was out and about – I admit it, I was looking for Easter grass…even at this age, our family still puts Easter baskets together for each other. I, of course, left this go right up until the end. Baskets – check…candy – check…gift certificate to one of Christine’s favorite jewelry store – check…fake Easter grass to put into the baskets – nothing! I could not find Easter grass to save my life.
As I was about to enter the last store on my quest for Easter grass, my cell phone rang – it was the transplant center…they had another possible donor for me. My excitement was tempered only by what had happened three weeks ago. There were a lot of thoughts going through my head in a matter of seconds as I was being told about this donor…what I knew about them was that they were 22 years old and a perfect match to me. I did not know how they died. But I was told one more bit of information – the donor had a confirmed case of Hepatitis.
Ultimately I passed on those organs for this reason…yes, I would potentially be getting rid of Diabetes if the pancreas worked, but in exchanged I would be taking on organs that potentially could put me at risk for developing Hepatitis down the road. The risk of swapping Diabetes for Hepatitis wasn’t worth it for me.
So, then, I am going about my business this afternoon and the transplant center calls again! (Now, you may be seeing where I may want to play the lottery). This time the donor is again 22, had committed suicide, and there was possible evidence of track marks in their arm, but the family denies any knowledge of drug use.
Yikes…two calls in a span of less than 72 hours – Wow. I erred on the side of caution again, only because there was no definitive answer whether or not the donor had done drugs or shared needles before they passed…it wasn’t a leap of faith that I was willing to take.
Have I done the right thing in being picky with what organs to accept or reject over the last several weeks? I am fortunate that Tommy is ready, willing and able to donate his kidney (by the way – a big congratulations to him, as he finished the Boston Marathon in 5 hours and 45 minutes, all while raising a little more than $7000 for the Joslin Diabetes Center!) to me in June. But I have my family to thank of - Christine, Mom, Tommy, and of course, Bella (and our outstanding extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) - so I want to make the best possible decision for me and for them.
If I were a betting man, I would like to think I would have at least one more opportunity at a pancreas and a kidney together before June – let’s hope.