Boston Marathon, 2007
(Click on any picture for a full size version)
This one was for my Mom.
My Mom needs a kidney. 40+ years of diabetes has taken it's toll, and hers aren't working too well. When my brothers and I first heard this from my parents a couple of years ago, I knew right then and there that I'd give her one of mine. I assumed with my blood type I'd be a good match, and a living donor with the right genes (i.e., direct descendent) gives the recipient a much better chance.
I first looked into trying to do it anonymously, as my Mom flat out refused to accept one from any of her kids. I figured if she just got the call that one was available, then we could tell her afterwards, and then what could she do? However, it turns out you can't anonymously do a targeted organ donation without approval of the recipient.
I ended up having the tough talk with her, and told her that one way or another, I was going to give somebody a kidney, so it may as well be her! She finally, reluctantly agreed, and I thought that was that.
Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. While it turned out that I was a perfect match, my doctors also detected some heart damage as a result of years of stress and high blood pressure. It's borderline, and reversible if the high blood pressure can be brought under control. So, after almost 6 months of medication, my blood pressure is 'normal', and the only thing left was to demonstrate that my heart still works.
Hence, the Boston Marathon. I mean really, if you can make it 26.2 miles, how bad can things be?
Here are some pictures of the run. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't pretty, but I finished!
Me, Nghia, and Nathan, prior to the start. It's April, and we're in the middle of a real 'Nor Easter', heavy rains and 25 - 50 mph headwinds!
"My Mom needs this kidney.."
This kidney! He looks happy, don't you think? Artwork courtesy of Alicia and Cara..
Nathan and Nghia
Nghia and I
Approaching the finish line!
Hopefully, I'll be carrying one less kidney for the next one!
The kidney. Note the artist in the background!