Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Living Bank

    This past Friday night Casey and I were invited to a "Celebrate Life" event for The Living Bank.  The Living Bank is a nonprofit organization that began in 1968 with the mission to raise awareness of the critical need for organ transplant donors through public education and advocating for donors and their families.  Now it's really hard to believe that this January will mark 2 years since I began my life as a mono-kidney gal and Meredith began her new life.  Seriously, where did the time go?  When we had our surgery, Casey and I had only been dating 3 weeks and this Sunday we will be married for 6 months!  Anyways, this post is ais supposed to be about The Living Bank.  I became associated with them during the screening process of my kidney donation because I was appointed a living donor advocate that is independent of the hospital who serves to advocate for the best interest of a potential living donor.  Here are some interesting facts:

  • Organ donation can occur with a deceased donor, who can give kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs, heart, intestinal organs, and with a live donor, who can give a kidney or a portion of the liver, lung, or intestine.
  • Over 112,000 people in the United States are waiting for life-saving transplants, of that figure; over 90,000 are waiting for a kidney.
  • Every 18 minutes another name is added to the transplant list.
  • Every 24 hours, eight people die because suitable organs are not available.
     They honored Meredith's surgeon who is such a wonderful lady and has become quite renowned for her success in transplantation.  I saw our transplant coordinators (who I know worked tirelessly to answer our questions and make sure everything was set up), Dr. Lappin and my surgeon Dr. Katz (who happens to be her husband).  Hearing Dr. Lappin and various other speak that night reminded again of what a wonderful organization The Living Bank is and also what an indescribable blessing it is to be an organ donor.  I look back at my journey to be an organ donor, which is something I did not plan to do in my life, but one of the best things that God put in my life and chose me to be a part of.

     My story of donating a kidney is one of faith.  If you would’ve told me at the beginning of 2010, that I would be having major surgery and giving a kidney to someone I barely knew , I would probably have looked at you like you’re crazy.  I’m so thankful that God is in control, allowed me to be a part of this experience, and that my family instilled the importance of helping those in need, because it has done nothing but bless my life.  My recipient Meredith and I grew up at the same church, but because of the almost 5 year age gap our paths didn't cross and therefore, never had a conversation with one another. I knew Meredith was in need of both a kidney and a pancreas because having diabetes for over 20 years had taken its toll on her body.  Unfamiliar with the whole donation process, I figured it wouldn't be a difficult or long process for her to find a kidney donor (the pancreas was going to have to come from a deceased donor), but because both of her pregnancies resulted in more antibodies in her blood, finding a match proved to be something much more difficult. 

     I was at the point in my life where I was in a state of transition.  My life had not worked out quite like I planned, which left me lost and feeling like I needed to do something in my life. At the time, I was reading "The Generosity Factor" by Ken Blanchard and S. Truett Cathy  which talked about leading a life of significance rather than what the world would call “successful”.  So I prayed to God, please use me to do something significant that would make a lasting impact.  I didn’t specify a particular area, but left it completely up to Him to decide.  I then learned at church of the difficult time Meredith was having in finding a match and that her kidneys were failing and she was very close to having to go on dialysis.  I told myself that there was nothing more special about me than anyone else, and with the increased difficulty to find a match, that I for sure would not be, but rather than live with the regret of not knowing I could have done something and didn’t, I decided to go for that blood test and find out, so I could know for sure.  When I received that first call notifying me that I was a match, I was in such shock.  I knew then that this was the something significant I had asked God to use me to do, and when I found out that around 40 people had been tested and I was the only one to make it through the entire process, that further confirmed this is what God had planned for me. 
     I gained a new sister and another "wonderful" family from what to me was just the simple act of helping someone in need.  Not all of us I realize can be organ donors, but we can all help someone in some way.  To you it might not seem that important, but to the other person you could be changing their life.  I know that every time someone tries to help or do something nice it doesn't always work out.  If you at least tried to make their life better, isn't that the point to try to help and share God's love?  Obviously, I am very passionate about organ donation and The Living Bank, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  For more information on The Living Bank, take a look at their website:  Be blessed blog readers and help someone out this week!

" 'When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  'The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ " Matthew 25:39-41

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hixon Is My Last Name?

Let me first of all apologize to my readers (the many few that there are).  Time has gotten away from me once again!!!  I have been going nonstop it seems.  From work being busy, taking care of a sick husband who had a sinus infection and virus ( no worries he is better now and the huge mounds of tissues seem to have dissipated as well), Greek festival, choir concerts, I have had no time to blog!Back to the content of today's post is a thought I have been pondering for some time.  It is something that affects many females in the world (to any male readers I have do not worry it has nothing to do with the letters PMS)

How long does it take for a married lady to get used to her new last name (assuming she takes her husband's name)? It's like the well sought out answer of "how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie roll pop"?  How much time does it take for you to say your new last name and let it roll off your tongue?  I do a pretty good most of the time saying my last name is Hixon, but I will admit that I still want to default to Adcock sometimes.  I know Casey and I have been married for less than 6 months, so it's still new.  I had been saying Adcock for a little over 28 years, so it takes time.  I wonder when I will go straight to the H's at the registration table of whatever event that is now somewhere near the middle rather than the first stop at the A's.  Where in the classroom will my kids sit if the teacher assigns seats based on alphabetical order?  I realize that when it comes to the church potlucks, I will still be with the A's most likely and not have to adjust there.  I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't excited to move further down the alphabet just to compare my experiences at the front of the ABC's.  I've learned that whatever your name is people will still mispronounce and misspell it,but such is life.  So far I'm enjoying my time in the H's. You're not at the end and you're not at the beginning still, but situated in the middle. It's beautiful!

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." Psalm 63:3-5

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Weekends

So the past 2 weekends, we have gone to weddings.  (Casey was beyond thrilled and excited let me tell you.)  Acutally, while he loves his friends and wants to be there on their special days, I think he just didn't like the getting dressed up and wearing a tie part.  The first wedding was in town and it was a friend from his church growing up that Casey and his family knew.  The bride was from Romania, so the ceremony was spoken in Romanian and it was an Orthodox ceremony.  While I had never been to an Orthodox wedding or one that was in Romanian, it was a lovely ceremony and interesting to see the customs of another culture and religion.  We also got to spend the evening with Casey's mom, his brother David and his wife Taci, so that was nice to combine some family time with the wedding.  Casey wanted to leave before they cut the cake, but I really wanted some cake.  It's one of my many favorite parts of a wedding, but I compromised and told him if I could have a cupcake/cake coupon for another time, then we could leave right then.  We left right then, and I still have not redeemed my coupon:(
     I can say with 0% doubt that my favorite role in a wedding is the guest.  After being in several weddings and planning my own, I seriously love being a guest! I loved being in the weddings I have been in and was honored to do so, but after planning my own wedding, I have truly come to appreciate the role of the wedding guest.  Here are some reasons why:
  • You don't have to get there until about 15ish minutes before the ceremony starts.
  • Getting ready is way easier and faster.
  • You can leave whenever you want and don't have to stay till the bride/groom leaves to help clean up. (which also means you don't have to deal with a cranky husband who wants to leave as soon as the I do's are said!)
  • You don't have to write thank you notes.
  • You don't have to worry about any wedding stresses like rsvp's, flowers, caterers, dress, etc.
     This past weekend the wedding was in Victoria for a couple of friends that we were blessed to meet at church and then moved back to the Corpus Christi area.  I should have read the invitation more closely and refreshed myself on the geography of Texas better because I thought Corpus Christi and Victoria were closer than 2 hours apart and also that Victoria is only 2.5 hours from Houston.  Casey's youngest brother is living the life of luxury in a condo right on the beach there and was nice enought to let us stay with him.  Originally I thought Victoria and Corpus were closer, so we would get there Friday and leave Sunday, but once I looked up everything on google maps, I realized we would be doing way too much driving back and forth if we did that.  We hated to tell his brother we weren't coming since he was nice enough to open his house and not make other plans and we also wanted to spend some time with his brother since we don't get to see him as often.  The happy compromise we came to was to go down to Corpus Christi Friday night, stay with Joel, drive from there to Victoria and go to wedding, and then head home to Houston late Saturday night.  And by late, I think we got home about 12:30 in the morning.  The wedding was lovely despite the downpour that came that day.  It paused long enough for Kevin and Elizabeth to say their I do's, so all was well.  Casey and I got to spend some time with Joel fishing and watching football, so all in all it was a wonderful trip!  I am thankful to be done going out of town for awhile though.
  This past Friday marked 5 months of marriage for Casey and I.  I know everyone says that time flies, but it really does!!  I would say the first month went by more slowly, but after that it picked up and seems like the next time I blink, another month has gone by.  I'll leave you with some pixs from the weddings we went to.

"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" John 13:34