How in the world is the title, “ Kidneyversary” related to ..bring Mae’s flowers and family fun?  September 6 was the one year anniversary of Kenny’s kidney transplant.  Leading up to the transplant, our family went through some major stress and worry.  All of our adult children and I went through the process to become kidney donors which in itself was a roller coaster ride.  At the same time, Kenny’s health was rapidly declining.  Even when we were “having fun,” we had some major anxieties.  I also don’t know how many of you know, but kidney disease can change a person in a lot of ways even without them really realizing it.

Kidney disease is hard

Kenny has always been a napper; however, as the disease progressed the naps became a necessity.  My once active, patient, and jovial husband became still and quiet, sometimes irritable.  He still enjoyed our family, but not in the same ways as before.  I noticed the difference even though he couldn’t.  When the rest of us went on walks, he wouldn’t.  He didn’t enjoy our little farm as he had in the past.  In general, he just became lethargic and reserved.  I know now and realized then, as did our kids, that it was his illness changing him.  It was still hard.

Living Donor

Anyway, luckily, just before the need for dialysis, I was approved to donate on behalf of Kenny and he got a voucher for a new kidney from a live donor.  One by one, our kids had been disqualified, and I thought for sure I would be, too.  However, we were blessed when I was given the opportunity.  It worked out just the way that I had prayed it would.  I wanted to be the one.  Even though it didn’t seem quick at the time, I was able to donate in less than a year after I began testing.  My kidney flew off to Minnesota (Kenny’s would come from a wonderful live donor in D.C.)!   I’m not gonna lie, it was painful, but I would do it again tomorrow if I could!  Through it all Kenny was right by my side and took perfect care of me.


We expected it to be several months before a match was found for Kenny although barely three weeks later, we were back at the hospital for his transplant.  It took months for him to get used to all of the anti-rejection meds and quite some time for the incision to heal.  But,  he began to feel better almost immediately.  

We have felt so blessed this past year even though sometimes the going has been tough.  Driving two and a half hours at 3:30 a.m. two times a week to the doctor appointments for many weeks was tough.  I have never enjoyed driving and I was still exhausted from my surgery but we made it.  

feeling better

Slowly, Kenny began to be able to do more than he had before transplant. He took over driving to those appointments. He has been able to plan, oversee, and do all the busy work behind our business.  The naps slowly stopped.  He has been able to enjoy playtime with our grandchildren more.  We went on a cross country trip this past summer with lots of hiking.  He is a more active participant in life.  I guess I am trying to say that family fun resumed.

hiking post transplant

One year kidneyversary


I’m telling a bit of our story in hopes that it can provide hope for others who might be going through a challenging situation.  Sometimes, we can’t change our circumstances and we have to accept the outcomes and move forward.  Life can still be good.  Families can still be strong.  Fun can still be had!

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