Dear family – It has been 20 years since I received a kidney from your loved one. It has taken me this long to write because I wasn’t sure if you would want to hear from me – but when I celebrated my 20th anniversary I went to the transplant clinic to share my thanks with them and saw an enormous banner that said that donors would love to hear from recipients. I decided then to send you this note.
How can I begin to tell you how much your generosity has meant to my family and I? I was a divorced mother of two young teenage girls in 1996. O. and M. were 16 and 14 at the time. I had been on dialysis for three years and was having constant problems with infections and hospitalizations. I did not know if I would live to see my girls graduate from high school.
I have experienced so much in the last twenty years – that through the blessing of your gift I was able to share with my family. Both girls not only graduated from high school, but from college. Each of them has married – and each has children. I have two beautiful granddaughters who were born to Maya – they are now 11 and 9; and my daughter Olga just had a baby girl 16 months ago. I can’t tell you how much the joy of knowing and sharing life with all of these wonderful young women has meant to me! Of course I have lost loved ones over these past 20 years as well – but have lived to share in the family’s grief and mourning. All of these events have brought me to a place of thanksgiving.
I hope that by knowing of the lives you were able to enrich, your own grief may be lessened just a little. I am very sorry for the loss you suffered.
Since my transplant has been so very successful – and lasted these long 20 years – the doctors often ask me if I received the kidney from a living, related donor. When I tell them no, they ask if the donor was related to me. I always say “I don’t think so!” – but who knows – perhaps we have a distant ancestor in common?
In any case, I consider you to be part of me – and I hope you will do the same.
Thank you for your gift. It has meant life to me.