Had a phone call this morning from Suzanne from the transplant team down in Swansea. She's been busy looking at dates and has proposed 19th February for the operation. This thing is gonna happen! With this in mind she's hoping to arrange for Jamie and I to meet the independent assessor in the week beginning 21st January. The assessor has to have their decision in, that all is ok legally, at least 10 days before the operation. She's also hoping to take bloods (I believe for a final cross check with Jamie's) on that day, when I'll be travelling down to South Wales. The bloods have to be taken within 6 weeks of the operation.
This afternoon I had an email from Janet in Manchester confirming the above and she has already said they can fit in with 19th February. My operation will be performed in the morning in Manchester, Jamie's that same afternoon in Cardiff, my kidney having shot down the motorway on blues and twos.
So all is looking good but subject to final confirmation. I meet with the transplant surgeon in Manchester on 12th December.
I feel today's the right time to share some thoughts with you all.
I made the offer of a kidney to my friend Jamie having discovered he was on dialysis three times a week. With Jamie's agreement I decided to blog about the process. It would be easy to think I was doing this to draw attention to myself, inviting accolades for my action. This isn't the case though. My desire, really, is to raise awareness of the plight of those suffering from chronic kidney disease and the effect this has on their lives. Jamie has been deprived of the ability to enjoy outdoor pursuits like cycling and hillwalking. He's unable to drive long distances and can't venture far from his dialysis centre in Swansea. It's also true that the dialysis is merely keeping him alive, not healthy. He needs a new kidney. Without someone like me offering a kidney he'd have to wait, in a long queue, for someone to die.
Each time I post on here and Twitter I receive lots of positive comments and praise. I've been called a hero. I'm not. I'm just an ordinary guy trying to help. It's not unusual for me. Close friends will, I hope, recognise my willingness to help folk, usually in a very small way. I hope this kindness has a ripple effect, prompting others to do likewise.
I spent 27 years of my life as a mountain rescue volunteer. I loved the idea of helping folk I didn't know, giving assistance without reward. But here's the thing. There is a reward, but it's hard to explain, because it's a feeling, a sensation you get, having done some good.
It won't surprise you to hear that Jamie's thanked me more than once for my actions. It's completely understandable. I'd do the same. I can only try to reassure him that I'm happy to help and he doesn't have to express his thanks. I'll get my reward when I can share the outdoors with Jamie again. When we can sweat and toil up a hill together, or maybe flog up a climb on bikes. That shared experience will be a joy.
I feel like I'm rambling. My thoughts are a little clumsy. I hope you get the drift of my feelings.
So, to end for today, I ask just this. Can you help someone as you pass along the way? Can you too be a good Samaritan? It may not be giving someone a kidney but the smallest acts of kindness can bring light to the life of the receiver.
Be kind to others. There cannot be too much love in the world.
To read the whole story go to my kidney donation page which you can access on the left side of this blog.