Living Donor

My dad, Joe, and me.

House money.

"Playing with house money" is a phrase used in reference to gambling or investing.  If an investor just saw huge and unexpected gains on an investment, he may feel like he can take more risk on his next deal.  He has already been given beyond what he wanted.  His future is taken care of, and he can now risk a little because he knows there will always be enough.  From this position of security, risk looks different.  When you are playing with house money you already know your ultimate destination, so taking a few scenic detours doesn't feel like a waste of time.


"Bllekk! Why would you do that?"

It was an honest reaction from someone I spoke to on the phone.  I've been sharing with various folks for the last week or so that they shouldn't expect to hear from me for a week+ because I'm taking a medical leave.  When I tell them my leave is to give a kidney to my dad - a living donor transplant - they give me a variety of reactions.  Most are very gracious and encouraging.  Before going through this, I'm not sure I'd know how to react if someone told me they were going to be a living kidney donor.  It is a super-weird thing to try to process.

Right now I feel at peace.  My reasons for doing this are right, and I'll share them soon.  The prayer is that we avoid COVID-19, and that the hospital keeps us on the schedule, so we can spend Thanksgiving week in the only all-inclusive resort still open for business: the hospital.


So many are already asking how they can help.  Here are some humble suggestions:

  1. Educate yourself on kidney donation.  120,000+ people are waiting on the kidney transplant list.  Living donors only account for around one-third of all kidney donations.  You could extend the life of someone's son, daughter, father, mother or loved one by giving a kidney.  What an opportunity to serve and to love someone!  For more see:  There is also a place on the NKF website where you can donate money.
  2. Give to You Made Me Mom. YMMM is connecting with moms and making a real difference as it continues to expand across the U.S and beyond. Grieving moms don't have a lot to do with kidney donation (or do they?), but I'll use this brief platform to plug something Amy founded and leads.  We remain passionate about sharing our lessons from Simon's life and helping others heal. More here:
  3. Pay attention.  More than anything, this is an act of worship for me and my dad.  We are both playing with "house money" because we trust that our future is taken care of by Jesus Christ. Not because of anything we do or don't do, but because of what He's done. This might be where some start to roll their eyes and tune out, but just consider for a moment that we are right.  The freedom we have, to do something like living donorship, is because we get to do things in this life from God's forgiveness not to earn His forgiveness.  We already gained His approval with Jesus' death and resurrection, so we don't have to earn it.  House money.
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.  - John 17:24 (the words of Jesus)

My dad, Joe, my mom, Melody (where my kidneys were made) and me.


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