Friday, December 9, 2016

Be The Ripple

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” ~~Jane Goodall
For all of you who are wondering what you can do to make the world better or to make yourself feel better or just focus on anything besides all the crazy stuff happening in the world, I give you Jenna. Like 99,166 others in the US today, Jenna needs a kidney. But this isn't just about a 31 year-old artist and writer who desperately needs an organ, it's about all the people whose lives will be changed as a result of her receiving a kidney. Her mom Karol, for one, who has been a fierce warrior championing on behalf of her daughter while at the same time celebrating all those who get what she still doesn't have: a healthier daughter. 

A rare urological defect destroyed Jenna's kidneys when she was young. Finding a match for Jenna is especially difficult because she has high antibodies. Because of this, it is necessary to find a pool of eligible living donors to increase the odds of finding a match. Jenna has blood type O, but even if a willing donor does not match her, she can still receive a kidney through paired donation, which is a “swap” between two incompatible couples. By donating a kidney to another patient on Jenna
s behalf, that donor allows Jenna in turn to receive the other patients donors kidney. Although Jenna lives in California, her donor can live in any state, and all donor medical costs are covered by her insurance.

When we help someone we often think in terms of our actions as being limited to what we can see in front of us, but what we give to one person, we give to the world. Each kidney recipient—not to mention their extended families and coworkers and friends—are affected by their loved one receiving a kidney. By helping one person, you help the collective. Each of our deeds, good or bad, creates a ripple. Beyond one’s belief in a higher power, all we have to sustain our hope is the grace of our fellow human beings to help us through our struggles. I don't have any more spare kidneys to give away, but I plan to keep throwing stones into the pool until that waiting list is at zero.

For more information about being tested to see if you are a match for Jenna, please visit the UCLA Living Donor Intake page. You can learn more about Jenna by clicking on her video, "Are You My Type?" or follow her journey by going to her Facebook page. In addition, if you would like to contact Jenna personally, you may send her an email. And you can SHARE this post because somebody out there is a match for Jenna. 

Now let's do this.