When Beth was diagnosed with Goodpasture disease and began treatment, her doctors quickly realized she would need a kidney transplant. During her wait for an organ, she was losing hope. One day while on social media, Scott came across a story of someone needing a kidney donor that inspired him to become an altruistic donor. After an evaluation, a recipient was found—Beth.
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I was a single mom. I was currently going to college, working full-time. I was just trying to make everything work out. And then I got the news that I was sick. I was having issues with lots of kidney infections.
So I got the call from my doctor, and he said that I had Goodpasture’s disease. And then told me that I was needing to start doing treatments the next day.
You know, my thought was, what am I going to do with my son. I’m going to need a lot of help from my family. I was panicking. I ended up in the hospital getting a peritoneal dialysis tube, because the treatments didn’t work and they decided I just need to go to dialysis.
Beth is a very young woman, who all of a sudden gets told that her kidneys are deteriorating. And they were actually deteriorating at a fairly rapid pace. She has to go and have her blood cleared through a machine and it’s not a normal life.
Every time her heart beats, little blood goes into the kidney, and kidney’s clearing that blood all the time. Your kidneys are not working. You can be on dialysis or you can get a transplant.
My doctor finally sat me down. He was like, OK, well, it didn’t work for you. So now you have to get a transplant. So, that was a bad day.
I was flipping through Twitter one day and I saw a tweet about two children asking for a kidney donation for their mother, who was sick and dying. Immediately, I just thought, I can do that.
I remember they said, sometimes we have people walk in here that just want to donate an organ to help somebody. And I was thinking, that’s crazy. Who would do that?
So I immediately got on the computer, started looking around. Saw there was a national registry for living donors. So I registered right there.
Sadly, Beth didn’t have any living donors available, and someone came forward who said, I’m completely healthy and I’m able to donate my kidney to someone on your list.
Scott was special, because you know, for like an altruistic donor. What I mean by that, you know, is somebody who wants to just donate his kidney to someone who he doesn’t know.
I decided to do it. We filled out that initial paperwork.
We spent a lot of time and a lot of energy to do a significant amount of testing, to make sure anyone that we clear to be a living donor, that we know confidently, that they’re going to live a completely perfect normal life without any high risk of renal failure or mortality over the course of their lifetime.
I was miserable and I was losing hope, and that’s when I got the phone call. I just remember talking to the agent and asking, you know, is this real? What’s the catch? There was no catch.
I refer to it as our surgery, because, I mean, it is our surgery. I trusted the process. I trusted the medical team, and it was simple.
After the transplant, I felt like I was on top of the world. But it was almost like a reset.
I was in the hospital for three days. You know, I’d say for having a major organ removed, three days in the hospital is not too shabby.
I always wanted to meet this person who has given me this gift. I had no idea who he was. We had just recently contacted each other on Facebook. He said, yeah, I would go to a Cardinals’ game to meet you.
I am a Cub fan.
When we found out he was a Cubs fan, my husband joked around and said, you need to give that kidney back. We’re a family of Cardinals fans.
In order of memorable moments in my life, going to have to be top five. It’d be top three if they were playing the Cubs.
After the transplant, I wrote him a letter, just so her knew what he did and who he helped.
Three days before my wedding, St. Louis showed up on my phone. I answered. They told me not only was a donor donating their kidney, that I was getting it. That day became the best day of my life. That was the day I found out about you. Because of you, I now feel better. Because of you, I now have more time with my son. Because of you, I no longer have the pain of needles being put in my arm. I have more time. I have more energy. My husband and I can have more children. And I can live my life. So how do I even thank you? That was an amazing gift you gave me. Thank you for everything. Beth, Travis and Mason. I still can’t read it without.