When Life Throws Curve Balls
Photo Credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Curveball_topspin.svg
Sometimes, Life throws you one of those curve balls that comes out of no where, or at least appears to come out of no where. We have a few choices. We can run like heck to catch the ball. Curl up and hope it doesn't hit us. Or, we can simply stand still and wait, hoping someone else will catch it.
Recently, a curve ball was sent spiraling into my family. Since I can neither curl up, nor stand still, I am running like crazy. I hope and pray that this ball will be caught and all will be well. I know this all seems cryptic, and it is. Let me tell you a story...
My brother, Barry and I are what my mother called "Irish Twins." I was born in September and he was born in November the next year. When we were growing up people thought we were twins. I never minded. I love Barry.
Barry and I on the first day of school - I was in third grad he was in second
Now, don't get the impression that we never had problems as siblings. There were plenty of times when we fought, just like any other brother and sister. But, always, when the chips were down, we had each others back.
For Barry, the chips are not only down, they are non-existent at the moment. Barry is in liver failure. The doctors have given him four months to live. He is on the transplant list, but with A+ blood, they doubt a donor liver will be found in time. The only thing we can do is hope and pray that they will find a living donor.
How does a live donor transplant work? Well, this is where all the "running" comes in. You network, call friends, send messages to people, talk to folks you don't even know and then, network some more.
People who are interested in being a donor are asked to call a number where their information is taken. If they pass the first interview, then they must go through various other stages of testing and more interviews. IF, and this is a very big IF, they match, then the transplant team is notified, donor and patient are admitted to the hospital and the doctors remove the diseased liver, replacing it with a piece of the healthy donor liver. The donor's liver will grow back and, if there is no rejection, the patient's new liver will also rejuvenate.
So, why am I writing about this on my blog? For one, I want to show how important organ transplants can be to people. Personally, I have agreed to be an organ donor. My children know and it is on my license. Unfortunately, my blood type is different than Barry's, or I would be going through the screening process.
The other reason I am writing is to bring awareness to the need for living donors. I know that this is not an easy decision to make. There are risks - risks that the doctors share with any donor before agreeing to operate. That said, there is a need for many types of living donors - everything from blood to bone marrow.
If you are interested in learning more about liver transplants, you can go to http://www.matchingdonors.com/life/ppc.html
If you are in the Massachusetts area, have A+ blood and want to see if you are a match for Barry, please call 1-508-334-2023.
Right now, the sun is in our eyes...we may not be able to catch this curve ball, but we will give it a good try. Please keep Barry and our family in your prayers. I know that whatever happens, we will be given the tools and Grace to carry on.