Six months of hospital visits, medical exams and many, many blood draws later and I’ve been 100% cleared to donate a kidney to my best friend, Niem! My hope for procuring him one was no further than an arm’s reach away all along :-)
The medical exams I passed these last few month were a chest X-ray, a psych eval and an MRI to decide which kidney they’re going to choose and map out a route to get to it. As it turns out, my lung water content is in balance, mental faculties are up to snuff and we’re going with the right one. After having my body’s health and inner workings scrutinized in more ways than I thought were possible these last six months, it’s satisfying to know it’s primed for the task of having a major organ removed from it to donate to a friend.
With over twenty-five years of friendship behind us and having shared in some of life’s greatest moments, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be there for Niem. He is one of the most amazing human beings I know. There’s nothing more enjoyable than going to a concert with him, attending one of his family BBQ’s or just having dinner together. The fact that we’re a direct physiological match raises the question on whether friendship is tied to biology at a degree we have yet to fully understand.
Coincidentally, John Oliver covered a story on the history of dialysis in the US recently that details how Richard Nixon’s signing of a bill into law in 1972 committed our government to bear the expense of dialysis and kidney transplant surgeries that’s quite intriguing. As Oliver put it, “Essentially, we have universal health care in this country for one organ in the body!”
It’s because of this that our pre-examinations are paid for by Niem’s insurance as much as yours would be, which also covers the cost of the surgeries and follow-up visits. What’s not covered are my family’s expenses from the 4 - 6 weeks off of work I have to take to recover from the surgical procedure. Being the sole provider for a family that consists of three adorable little girls and a wife who started nurse practitioner school this year puts me in a position that I have to raise those funds on my own. I’m reaching out to my friends, family, and community to please show your support by donating to my fundraising campaign in order to cover those expenses.
Our surgery date is set for December 20th of this year, and outside of securing my family’s financial needs, all I’ll have remaining is to prepare my body for the physical undertaking ahead of me. As my nurse coordinator simply put it “the less there is to cut through, the easier it’s going to be for you.” Thank you for your support, thoughts, and prayers!
If you’re interested in donating to Jason Garcia’s fundraising campaign, please visit his Gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/jasonandniem to make a contribution. Your generosity is appreciated and will go a long way in making this miracle a reality! If you want to read about Jason’s journey through the testing you can visit his posts on my blog at http://www.niemtran.com/?tag=Jason