April 16, 2014 |
By Jeff Skinner from Winnipeg, Maniotba
I had my kidney transplant on November 26, 2009 thanks to my brother David to whom I will be forever grateful. I now celebrate two birthdays each year, my chronological one and my “second chance at life” one.
I’ve had my brushes with death over the years – a brain aneurysm at twenty-one, testicular cancer at thirty and a possible leg amputation at forty-two but this was the first time that I felt truly vulnerable. The funny thing is that the vulnerability didn’t present itself until I was out of immediate danger – probably because I was too busy dealing with the crisis at the time to think about it.
I don’t know, maybe it’s age, maybe it’s just getting hit over the head enough times that I finally recognized that I am mortal. Once I truly accepted that, my life became more uncertain and more certain at the same time.
More uncertain because I realized there are no guarantees in life, more certain because I now had to make the choice about waiting out the rest of my life or fully embracing the remainder of my time on this earth.
I chose the latter. What value and meaning would my brother’s gift have if I just put time in until it was over? No, I not only owed it to him and the rest of my family but to myself most of all.
I can’t say that it has been easy. I’ve had my medical complications, which continue to remind me that transplantation is not a cure. But my motto, which I have borrowed from my best friend’s mother is, “Keep on moving”. No matter how difficult it is you must keep putting one foot in front of the other and each step you take gets you that much closer to your higher intention whatever that may be.
My higher intention is to live my life to the fullest, which encompasses everything from being more sociable and building deeper relationships to creating more love in my life and more opportunities to help other people.
I am moving toward that.
People tend to do more with their second chances that they do with their first but not everyone gets a second chance. It’s a shame especially when it comes to people who would thoroughly embrace their second chance if they were fortunate enough to receive an organ transplant.
If it is in any way within your power to provide them with that second chance then do it. Become a donor. Who knows, it might just be your second chance too.
April 20 to 26th is National Organ and Transplant Donation Awareness Week. Make sure to talk to your family about your organ donation wishes and visit www.signupforlife.ca.
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