I Still Need A Kidney

I Still Need A Kidney

During the chaos of this pandemic, I still need a kidney.  The fact is I still need someone to help me live a quality life.  I need someone to become my hero.  

This virus has made me appreciate life, nature, family, and friends.  I want to be around to enjoy all of it. My biggest fear is that I won’t get to see my niece grow up.  I fear that if I die she will forget me,  She will forget about the pumpkins we painted for Halloween or the jewelry boxes we made out of popsicle sticks.  The dance parties in my car blasting Trolls music with the sunroof open.  Watching her open her LOLs.  All of the Face-timing we have done over the years, even before she could talk.  I am afraid she will forget that she is the most important person in my life.  Since the moment she was born I have had this overwhelming feeling to protect her.  I am honored to be her Godmother and want to look over her for so many years to come and in order to do that, I need someone to help me.  

I want to become an active part of my community again.  I taught for 18 years and have had so many kiddos touch my life.  I have students who were in my fifth-grade class who, years later are married and others who have had babies.  Students who continue their educations through college and grad school.  I have a student who constantly writes on Facebook and now Kiana teaches me life lessons through her writing when it used to be my job to teach her.  

I think of another student all the time.  This student taught me more about understanding and compassion than any other person in my life.  Austin is one of those guys that says it like it is.  He struggled socially and classmates used to tell me he was a “bad” kid.  His mom wanted to homeschool him for his final year of elementary school and I remember standing in the parking lot with her basically begging to give me a chance to teach him.  She reluctantly gave in and that summer I bought books and read as much as I could about Aspergers.  I met with Austin and his mom, Brenda before school intending to establish a relationship with him.   For me, there was no doubt that I wanted this young man to be a student in my class.  

Not only did Austin teach me, but he also taught every child in my class that year.  You see,  once the students learned about Aspergers and that Austin wasn’t a “bad” kid they appreciated his differences and everyone else’s for that matter.  It’s funny actually, they realized he was brilliant and often asked him for help.   I will never forget a story that Brenda told me.  It was the evening of the Dwyer Awards, an annual program developed and supported by the Economic Council to honor outstanding educators from public and private schools in Palm Beach County.  I was nominated and made it to the top five.  Many of my students and their families attended the ceremony with me.  At the end of the night on their drive home, Brenda said something like, “ I am so mad that Stacy did not win.”  And Austins’ response was something like, “Mom, are you kidding? She was the top five.  She already won.”  I carry that sentiment throughout my life and have tried to pass it on to so many others.  Winning does not always mean the first place.  I have won many battles in my life and there was never a first place ribbon and that is ok.  One more note about Austin.  He never had birthday parties.  In fifth grade, Brenda decided she would try and every person in my class was given an invitation, including me.  Of course, I couldn’t wait.   The day came and of course, I was early and Brenda and I waited on pins and needles for that doorbell to ring.  Finally, it did, and it continued to ring until every child from my class walked through the front door.  I remember feeling overwhelmed with love for this special group of kids.  And they were definitely special, they continued to be there for Austin through middle school and high school.  They wouldn’t allow others to bully Austin.  True friendships were built that year.  By the way, I still remember the theme of the party was pirates and it was the best birthday party I ever attended!!

I need to get back out there.  It may not be in a classroom but I need to be a part of supporting people and helping others.  In order to do that I am asking for a hero to step up and save my life.

I recently met someone.  I know, crazy time to meet someone and believe me we have texted more in the last month than I care to admit.  He was there for me through text and phone calls when I was in the hospital for my blood transfusion, He texts me while I am at dialysis and we had the opportunity to meet once, outside of course.  We continue to text every day and call and video chat but I am excited to see where this could possibly go.  For the first time in a long time, I am excited about the future I know I can have.  

You may be reading this and thinking that you are not a candidate to donate a kidney, and that is ok You can still be my hero by sharing my story, sharing my blog, sharing my Facebook page.  I know the more people who read my story the better chance I have of receiving the gift of life.

If you would like to be tested or know someone who may be interested you can contact Tampa General Hospital at 813-844-5669 or livingkidneydonor@tgh.org  Everything is confidential.

To follow me on Facebook search “Stacy Needs A kidney”.

PLEASE let me know you are out there.  PLEASE say hello or leave a message about someone who has touched your life.  I would love to hear your stories!  

A huge shout out to Sheila for always reading my entries before I post them and for always saying a prayer for me!!  I love you dearlady!!


Where Do I Begin

I have started this entry a dozen times.  I keep deleting what I write because words escape me right now.  I have so much I want to say but don’t know how to organize my thoughts.  I am scared and I am anxious and I am angry and I am confused.  How is something like this happening during our lifetime?  I walk outside and the neighborhood is a ghost town.  In the distance I see people walking two-by-two. 

I sit in the house.  I don’t go anywhere because my immune system is compromised.   I keep checking my temperature and it varies from 99.9 to 99.2 . The doctors  say it is from the transfusion I recently had but  I fear that I will have a fever and not be able to get dialysis.  

So, I try to occupy my time.  How about a puzzle?  I started it three days ago and finally finished it.  I am puzzle number two and our neighbor, Debbie,  just dropped off four more.     A walk?  Sure,  a walk will do me some good.  Sit on the lanai?  Yes, its peaceful out there.  I can read my book, “Finding God”.  A little ironic for the times.  

Today, my sister Julie came over with Kiley.  We were only allowed to be outside.  Julie did not want to enter the house just to be safe.  We found an outside scavenger hunt that Kiley and  I could do.  That took us about an hour and then we went out back to the lanai and we took turns reading her book.  It was definitely lighter than my choice in genre.  Mom and Dad wake up and we have breakfast outside.  Yes, scavenger hunt, walk, and story time all before noon.

Now a few days have passed and I have not posted this entry.  I didn’t want to be a Negative Nellie but things just continue to suck.  My Mom’s cousin passed away this week and we also lost a very dear friend.  Neither deaths were due to the Coronavirus but that is neither here nor there….we still lost them.  I can’t stop thinking about all of the celebrations and family events that have been held in my lifetime.  Things used to seem so easy, no worries at all.  WOW, have things changed.  

This pandemic is so messed up,  I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.  I continue to go to dialysis every other day but the thought of a transplant seems so distant right now.  It seems so unimportant to me.  I barely think about it.  What I do think about are the kidney patients who received the call a few weeks ago that a kidney was available and then they were sent home due to the virus.  I hate that!  

This virus is so much larger than any of us and it scares me.  I think about my friends and family in New York and other parts of the country and find myself reaching out to them to make sure they are safe.  I saw a post the other day on Facebook that really hit me.  My friend Jen wrote about looking for the little things amongst this chaos.  So I try to follow her advice…. Dad was able to put two pieces of the puzzle together and then walked away. It was too much for him.  Mom finding something to clean or fix around the house every day so far. And then, when she finally sits down on the couch I find myself watching her as she closes her eyes to rest.   I find myself just looking at them a lot.  Watching Dad make shrimp salad.  Thankful they are here. 

I am grateful for the memes about homeschooling and the posts about appreciating teachers.  I am grateful for all of the people risking their lives to help others.  I think about my friend Rachel and pray she stays safe as she works the front lines in the hospital.  I appreciate my favorite children’s author, Patricia Polacco and all the other authors and celebrities who post on Facebook.  I appreciate you for taking the time to read my blog.  Please leave a message this time.  Let me know you are out there and that you are ok.  Tell me something  good that you have found in all of this chaos.  I would love to hear from you!!