Okay, it's official. My name is on the "I need a kidney, can I have yours?" list.
This is a good thing. This is a scary thing. This is a fucking awkward thing.
I think somewhere in the back of my twisted mind was the dream that looked like this: A setting like a Jerry Lewis Telethon, but all about me. Watching it on TV with all the celebrity operators answering phones ringing off the hook with promises of live kidney donors. I watch as the numbers went up and up full of potential donors. I would also like to add there was glitter and unicorns, and maybe dancing girls just for shits and giggles. Turns out, that dream, was total horse shit.
Once you find out you're on the list, you then realize you now have to ask your family, friends, and potentially total strangers to give you one of their kidneys.
There is no fucking easy way to ask for that. I sent an awkward group email to both sides of my family. I posted on Facebook. The Big Ask, The Big Give.
So now I wait. That dream of a glittery telethon has been replaced with reality.
It's a total fucking mind trip.
That's why I write about this. Because every fucking feeling hit me at once.
Which I believe is probably true for anyone who goes through this.
It's a glimmer of hope, that each day I'm closer to that perfect match.
I'm not gonna lie. There's also that feeling of disappointment when somebody you thought might step up, has second thoughts.
But I can't be upset at anybody for that. This is a big fucking deal. I was told by both my brother and a friend (who both received kidneys from live donors, who incidentally are all doing great) that I couldn't have expectations about people signing up. That 90% of folks who say they'll do it, most likely won't. And that's okay.
The logical side of me understands this. I don't want people to feel guilty, bad or that they're letting me down. I totally understand why people wouldn't feel comfortable doing it.
The rad thing is that there are going to be people that go to the link I posted below, and fill out the form to see if they are a match. There are already people who have done it on their own. They asked for the link and signed up right away. I only know this because they told me they did. (Thank You.)
This is going to be an emotional battle. But at least I'm on the list. That's a very good thing. Asking for help is really hard. Asking for a kidney...that's really fucking hard.
One good thing about testing to see if you might be a donor, is that it's totally confidential and comes with no obligations. I won't know if you did or did not fill out the questionnaire unless you tell me.
I believe it's best for me to leave the link here, and on Facebook and stop asking. I think it's the best way for everyone...at least for now.
To sign up to see if you might be a match go to: https://www.stanfordhealthcarelivedonors.org
It will ask for my name : Kelly van den Berghe
My Birthdate : 10/23/64
This is the, hey I got a question about being a live donor phone number- 650-498-8382
This is not a binding contract- and totally confidential. It just figures out if you are a good match.
I want to give big loves to all who have already signed up. I feel truly blessed and thankful. Lover you. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX