We are constantly being bombarded with news about some guy who murdered another guy or some corporation who knowingly shipped contaminated food to grocery stores and so on and so forth. Perhaps that’s why the 8 kidney story took me off guard. For those of you who haven’t heard it: a man decided to donate his kidney to anyone who needed it. He figured it would be a good way to give thanks to God for seeing his daughter through brain cancer years ago. So he just called Johns Hopkins and basically said, “Hey, I got a spare kidney here. You want it, it’s yours.” I’m majorly paraphrasing here but you get the idea.
This obviously goes way beyond the normal give-up-chocolate-for-a-month-and-give-the-SPCA-a-buck kind of “ giving-thanks.” This man was actually willing to give away one of his major organs. I realize that long-term complications from a kidney donation are extremely rare but STILL! It’s a big deal.
Which makes it even more amazing that the receiving patient’s sister who had been ready to be the donor (but wasn’t a match) decided to give HER kidney to anyone who needed it. The person who needed it had a wife who wasn’t a match for him so the wife donated HER kidney to yet another unknown individual and it went on and on until 8 people had donated their kidneys to 8 different people that they had never met before. Some of these people had to fly to a different state so they could donate in the same hospital where the person they happened to be a match for was staying.
It’s the kind of story that knocks the cynicism right out of you. I’m not suggesting that everybody call their local hospital right now and ask them if they’d like to take out one of your organs (although if you feel up to it by all means, donate) but maybe next time you have the opportunity to do something truly good but don’t want to because of the inconvenience you might want to stop and think about this story. I mean seriously, if every time we were asked to serve the greater good we stopped and asked ourselves, “Hey, is it going to be harder than giving up a kidney? No? Than I’m in,” the world would be a better place.
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