Blog by the most beautifuliest kidney donor, MaryKay Diderrich
PART 1 – Doughnuts, How it all Began.
I am one of those people who has always had the proverbial “pair”. Being a nurse, a healthcare executive, and the mother of two daughters, the “pair” was just part and parcel of my personality. And perhaps to an even a larger degree, a sheer part of my survival! But that’s not the “pair” that led to my ultimate survival….or Mike’s. I am referring to the duo of beautifully functioning, pink, glorious kidneys that gave new meaning to the old expression.
The donation story began in a church with a singer, a bass player, a drummer, and me…. the sidekick without any real talent! My husband Rick plays bass in the art’s ministry at our church and befriended Mike Nicloy and his wife, Angela, through the ministry. Hanging out behind the scenes (because “flautists” aren’t in high demand in musical worship), I too began to form a friendship with the Nicloy’s. We attended their wedding in September of 2011 and the story moved quickly from there.
I remember the conversation clearly because there were doughnuts involved. In early December, shortly after their wedding, Mike and I had a conversation in front of the plate of doughnuts in the lobby at church. He looked like hell and the nurse in me had to inquire about his health status. He informed he needed dialysis, so naturally, with a mouth full of a chocolate doughnut, my reply was simply, “Well…..if you ever need a kidney, let me know”.
Did I really ever think he would take me up on it? Probably not. It’s a bit more grandiose of a gesture than offering to help someone move or drive them to the airport. It was truly a guttural reply….I didn’t think much of it. Again….that “nurse thing” just kicked in.
A few months later, I guess Mike remembered that conversation. He and Angela approached me about the sincerity of my offer and asked if I would participate in testing. I cannot lie and say that I didn’t have a momentary panic attack wondering what I had gotten myself into. I figured there was certainly no harm in getting tested, as there was NO WAY I was going to be a match, right? Plus, I had no anxiety about the testing process, as peeing in cups and needle sticks were an everyday part of my career in healthcare. I could totally handle that! And so I did.
And after all was said and done, out of 4 or 5 other people who were potential candidates, I was the match. ME. Whoaaa…..that was a miraculous day. And admittedly, pretty damn terrifying. That is until I realized that it was God’s hand guiding me toward that decision and providing me greater purpose. God was giving Mike and Angela a gift and I was the vessel.
From that point, the rest was easy!
Stay tuned for PART 2 – I Actually Passed the Psych Eval!