Stephanie + Wiley
Kidney Donors & Operators on the Engine Assembly Line
Stephanie and Wiley were working together when he mentioned he will be taking time away from work for a surgery. After finding out that he will be donating a kidney, Stephanie shared her experience, and they instantly connected. They joked with each other about the substantial difference in scar sizes between the 1982 and today, with the development of less invasive procedures. They share their stories in hopes that they can inspire others to give.
My mother was suffering from kidney failure and dialysis. Of my 5 siblings, only my older brother and I were a match. In 1982, I had just started nursing school but decided to donate one of my kidneys to her. The whole community came out to show support. I would like people to know that you can live and function on one kidney, and that you have the opportunity to help someone live a better quality of life.
I am still going strong after donating – the proof is in the pudding! In memory of my mother, I encourage giving and giving wholeheartedly. It’s much more important to give than to receive. Open your mind to how you can make a difference to someone’s life."
Last year, I heard that a fellow veteran and friend from church was in need of a kidney transplant. For one reason or another, no family members were a match. I contemplated and prayed about how to help when I found out that I was the right blood type and in the right physical condition to go through with the surgery, which had no noticeable effect on me.
By making the decision to donate one of my kidneys, my friend now enjoys a better life with his grandchildren. I welcome others to ask me about my experience and encourage others to consider giving in this way.