Generosity of a Stranger

At this point in my life, it is firmly my “intuition” that guides me.  That’s what led me to drive to pick up my mail after getting off the sailboat.  I’d spent my day cooking, tolerating dialysis for 3 hours, then back to more cooking and prepping for my first local fundraiser.  Exhaustion didn’t deter me.  After opening the little door I saw a handwritten envelope mingled in with the other more mundane rectangles.  The sender’s address was unfamiliar to me.  I took my prize back to my car and carefully tore along the edge with my finger.  Inside a personal note accompanied a donation to my medical fund.  Tears filled my eyes, as I felt overwhelmed by the generosity of this stranger, who had jotted down a few kind words.  I felt my heart being impacted:  it’s another moment from the last year, which I’ll never forget.  It marked the first time a stranger mailed in a donation, to help give me a chance at living a life free of beeping machines, ongonig tests, and being connected to plastic tubes to survive.

Again, it is my intuition pointing me in the right direction.  Beyond the volumes of scientific and medical data on stem cell treatments, I believe stem cell medicine is the right choice for me.  While I might have to convince family, some of my friends and those in my community about the successes and potential of this type of treatment, I didn’t have to convince this stranger.  The generosity and kindness of strangers has gotten me through some truly rough moments.  My gratitude goes out to the strangers, who are coming into and forever impacting my life.  Thank you so much!

What Wakes You Up At Night?

I’ve never been in charge of any fundraising.  I have worked for a non-profit, but it was only a private family foundation.  Not the same thing at all, since there was zero soliciting.  Exploring options for fundraising is a lot of work.  Phone calls, emails, online web pages, organizing, and trying to think out of the box.  When your own life is on the line, you find the motivation and you become audacious.

One of my favorite phrases is “the worst thing that can happen is someone can say no”.  I keep this in mind as I ask people for their help.  For their time.  For their money to help me continue living.  For their compassionate and giving hearts.  Some people will say “no”.  A fair amount of people will say “no”.  I’ll continue to ask.  I’ll continue to dream up possibilities.  Sure, I worry that I won’t reach my fundraising goal in time to make a recovery, and keep on living without repeat transplant surgeries and endless medications.  I sigh as I look at my fundraising page with the meter on it, showing that I’ve barely made a dent.  It causes me wake up in the middle of the night.

I think of the hundreds of people I’ve helped over the years as a healer, herbalist, reiki master teacher, yoga instructor, advisor, confidant, and friend.  I don’t regret one moment of giving to others, even when it was the last $20 in my wallet that I gave to a sobbing family member.  Karma. The Golden Rule.  Altruism.  Random Acts of Kindness.  Call it what you will.  It’s brought me a lot of joy.  A type of joy that warms me on the inside and sustains me when I’ve found myself alone at night in a hospital bed, or bracing myself for yet another needle poke in the arm.

I wonder what people think, when they visit my fundraising page.  What makes them decide to donate or not to donate?  Especially the people, who personally know me.  If someone I knew (even if for only 5 minutes), asked me to donate to save his or her life, then I would likely open my wallet on the spot and give at that very moment.  So, I can’t help but wonder why everyone doesn’t do this.  What stops them?  What compels others to instantly give?

In the last week and a half since I launched my fundraising,  I’ve experienced both.  Reaching for her purse, one woman immediately gave me cash.  I haven’t known this woman very long, and I didn’t even ask her to donate.  Smiling, loving eyes met mine, as I accepted her gift with gratitude.  Everyone makes choices in life, all the time.  I choose to continue to believe there are good people out there.  It’s what helps me fall back asleep when I awake in the night worrying.

So Today It Begins!

So today it begins.  A bit of my life becoming, oh, so public, as I endeavor to share my experiences and journey as a woman going through kidney failure.  I won’t lie.  It’s been the roughest time of my life.  I still smile and strive to make the best of it, but there, in the dark recesses of my mind I worry and wonder what will become of me and my life.

Just over a year ago I suddenly went into the Emergency Room for kidney failure.  What a shocking and life-altering event!  Time has flown by, and I never would’ve dreamed that I’d be a dialysis patient, surrendering 14 hours per week, every week, to being confined to a vinyl chair to keep me alive.

I’ve researched, studied, and weighed out my options for recovering.  Doctor, doctors, and more doctors:  none with an answer as to why my kidneys failed in the first place.  No underlying cause has been found.  I have my theories, but more on that another time.

How to keep living a full life?  My choice?  I’ve decided to get an autologous stem cell treatment.  The amount of research, study and treatments in the field are impressive and hopeful.  I believe that stem cell treatments will forever change the face of medicine across our little blue planet.

Now I have to raise the funds for treatment.  Paypal and YouCaring seem to be the best choices.  Widgets, profiles, accounts, descriptions, and postings have become my new projects.  I’m almost all done setting it up.

My prayers to make a complete recovery continue…..

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