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Kingston, Massachusetts, United States

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011

This Sunday is Mother’s Day here in the U.S., so I thought it would be fitting to talk a little bit about my Mom, Bridget Theresa Burke.
I can honestly say that I have probably given my mom way too much to worry about ever since she brought me into this world.  Right from the very beginning, she (and Dad) had me at the doctors and making countless trips to the hospital due to a very bad case of childhood Asthma.

There were so many times, probably too many to count, where mom was by my side trying to get me through an Asthma attack – steaming up the bathroom trying to get the steam to help open my lungs, or sitting with me out on the front porch step waiting for the ambulance to take us to the hospital when the instances were a little more severe.  Then there were the times, as a little kid, when I would have to stay in the hospital for several days because my Asthma was so bad, and mom was right there the entire time.

As if the asthma wasn’t bad enough, then came my diagnosis of Diabetes, and mom never skipped a beat.  I was scared, and she knew it.  We had already been living with the disease as a family since Linda was already diagnosed with it…but now, now there were two of us, two of her own, that would have to live with this insidious disease.  But mom never flinched.  She was always right there talking to the doctors and nurses, helping us.

When I needed a kidney transplant, one of the first people I wanted to confide in was mom.  For one reason, I thought mom would make this all better, take it all away…but this time mom’s super powers were no match for what I was facing.  But rather than seeing fear in her eyes when I told her that I needed a kidney transplant, I saw determination – determination that everything was going to be ok, that things would work out.

By this point in her life, mom had seen it all with Linda, Tommy, Dad and I…and she had even been through rough stuff of her own – survivor of two strokes, and survivor of three bouts with cancer.  She is sort of a modern-day Rocky – fighting real hard nosed battles, but in the end she somehow comes out on top.

I shouldn’t say somehow, because I have an idea of how.  She has a tremendous deep rooted faith.  A faith that began as a young girl in County Mayo, Ireland, and has grown stronger with each passing day ever since.

It wasn’t always for medical reasons that mom was always by our side growing up, she was there for all of life’s other ups and downs along the way…of course whenever we needed a dollar to run after the ice cream truck, she was there…whenever we had to eat all of our veggies before being able to go back outside to play, she was there, and whenever we had a baseball or soccer game, she was there.

So, here’s to you mom, thank you for being by my side during this difficult journey of needing a kidney transplant…happy Mother’s Day to you, and happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!  I love you Mom!

If you, or someone you know is interested in organ donation, please contact: www.neod.org; www.organdonor.gov; www.unos.org; www.donatelife.net; www.organtransplants.org; or  www.thewaitinglist.org


  1. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate my mom on the days that she frustrates me. Mothers always sacrafice so much when their kids are chronically sick.

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