Archive for April, 2012

Organ Donation

Today was the day! This morning my senior class at Jacksonville High School was privileged to have Beverly Berry from the Alabama Organ Center come to our school and share information about organ donation. Beverly was able to share how organ transplantation takes place. Beverly was very helpful by answering questions from the students and addressing the myths of being an organ donor.  AOC also works closely with Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges is a camp for children and teens who have had an organ transplant. Camp participants  are sponsored by private donations, communities, and various fundraisers. Beverly gave great insight and motivation to our class.

Everybody wear your caps

My senior class at Jacksonville High School began their senior class project today. We are doing a fundraiser called “Caps for a Cause”.  This entire week our high school is wearing hats for a dollar a day. All of our money is going to sponsor a child for Camp this summer. Mom or dad will give an update later with the total dollar amount we raised.

Last impressions

Most senior classes just donate a plaque or something to the school. We wanted to reach out and make an impact in someone’s life. So we chose Camp Bridges. Our mission is to influence the younger classmen to make selfless decisions and help others. Hopefully we set an example to our school and show that you can make a difference.




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Garden and bugs and hose pipe oh my..

Ok so this garden is taking more time than I had originally thought, due to the fact I have now had to cover the plants at 10 o’clock at night because of the blame cold. Then the next day I had to water because it hasn’t rained. Jason seems to think the that I needed a work out to turn the water on. I also don’t care for the bugs and spiders that are around the facet!

At least there is only one..

I am always doing some goofy things, but today I did a doozy! I made it all the way home and went to get my stuff out of the car and noticed I couldn’t find my wallet. I came on in and ate some supper, and then looked the car over. Once I couldn’t find it I decided to go back to the shop and look for it. I figured it was inside, but to no avail. I prayed as I was leaving and just happened to look over in the parking lot where I usually park, and lo and behold there it was! I can’t imagine how busy I must keep God on a daily basis! At least there is only one of me and not twins! I think my mother had chills when I just said that! Hehe! I think I can tell I’m getting old, because I don’t even remember putting that darn wallet on the blame car hood.

The countdown has started..

The count down has begun on graduation, due to the fact there is less than a month left. Anna has gotten thru prom and we had senior pictures taken. I honestly can say I don’t know where the time has went! I was looking at her pictures and got a little emotional, because I can still see  her little baby face in there. I haven’t cried any up until I saw those pictures, and my heart just melted! I am really looking forward to the next chapter in her life. We are so very proud of her and feel very blessed to have her as a daughter.


I have learned more about golf in the last two months than anyone should have to know! Chloe has kept Jason and I busy going to matches several times a week. Yesterday was the last match and can I just say Chloe had a ball! I love that she makes a point to get to know every girl that she is teamed up with. I can’t imagine where she gets that talking thing from!Hehe!! I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming and also hilarious!! We never know what she is going to say!

live from the crazy farm,



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90 days without dialysis

On Monday April 23rd it will have been three months since Jennifer’s transplant. Today we were at UAB for her 90 day check up. She got an excellent report!!!  Woo hoo!

Every time we come over here I’m reminded of just how many people are dealing with kidney disease. Jennifer and I are blessed that today we celebrate 90 days without dialysis. But for so many that is not the case. I will share in the post some of those we know that are waiting for a kidney.

Share with as many people as you can

I need you to share this post with as many people as you can. Today I’m sharing with you people who are in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Please share their need with as many as you can….face book and twitter would be great. If you have a blog please share this post with your followers.

Brian McAardle

Brian had a kidney transplant around thirteen years ago and is now needing another kidney. Brian has a unique situation. His dad and sister both have had transplants. Unfortunately when you have other family members needing kidney transplants and each one is the same blood type you tend to use up all the available matching kidneys from family and friends. Brian’s blood type is  O+ and can receive  a kidney from blood type O- or  O+ . In most cases is the hardest blood type  to get when you are on the waiting list. Brian has three precious children who would be so happy if their daddy could get a kidney. Brian has someone willing to pair with another family who may have someone who matches Brian but does not match their family member. So if you were tested for someone and did not  match and your blood type O and you would be willing to see if you were a match for Brian, he has someone who would be test for the person you know if you are match for Brian.If you would like to call to see if you are a match for Brian please call  1-888-822-7892. If you would like more about “paring”  and how it works email me  at 2givelife@gmail.com

Brent Vohun

A few months back Brent was diagnosed with kidney disease and is now on dialysis. Brent like Brian has small children who would be so excited for their daddy to get a new kidney. Brent’s blood type is A+ and can receive a kidney from A or O blood type. Brent is currently on dialysis and would love to end those treatments. To be tested for Brent you need to call  Barbara O’Neal at 404.605.4128 to see if you are a match.

Cathy Hill

Cathy had her first transplant in 1994 from her brother. Cathy’s kidney function is now around 17% with dialysis in the future if she does not get a kidney transplant. Cathy’s blood type is AB and she has been on the waiting list since 2010. A person with AB blood type can receive a kidney from any blood type. The number to call to be tested for Cathy is 1-888-822-7892.

Need to know information

The plus or minus factor in blood types relates only to a particular cell type in the blood and this factor is not part of the kidney. Thus, the positive or negative feature in blood typing has nothing to do with the matching of a kidney between a donor and a recipient. It remains, however, important in matching when a blood transfusion is considered.

Your privacy is strictly protected when you call to be tested…..the donor will only know you were tested if you tell them. Every step of the process is control by the one being tested. There is never any pressure placed on anyone who calls. The initial testing can be done locally where you live, it is simply having blood drawn and mailed to the hospital. If you are a match then you would have to go for a one day testing at the hospital….nothing painful! There is no cost associated with the one being tested or donating. If you would like to talk to someone who has donated a kidney please email me at 2givelife@gmail.com and I can put you in contact with a donor.

Pressing on,


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Time will tell

Time will only tell if I have a green thumb or not. In the past I don’t think it was my abilities to grow and produce amazing flowers and vegetable, it was simply the lack of interest on my part that lead them to the point of dehydration. So my potential has never been released, well that is my take on the gardening situation……I’m sure Jason’s’ thoughts are completely different.

It’s a partnership

Jason and I made a deal, he would prepare the ground and do the planting and I would take it from there (he has the easy part always). So far we have three types of big tomatoes plants, two different types of salad tomatoes plants, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers,  green bell peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, squash, and strawberries. We are going to finish up this week planting some cantaloupes and some blueberries. Oh, and maybe a small herb garden. I will be sure to provide photos of the goods when harvest time arrives.

Any tips on hydrangeas

We have three hydrangea that do really great each year……..not! The have the prettiest green leaves but only produce a few flowers. The question is where do they do the best, full sun, part sun, morning sun, evening sun? The two we have in the back yard seem to do great until July, then it seems like they just can’t take the heat. The one in our front yard does not get very much sun until the afternoon and it has grown to be the largest of the three but may only have two flowers a year. So we welcome any advise on hydrangeas.

Spring of blessing

It was about this time last year when all my doctors appointments began. I was starting to feel tired a lot and becoming nauseated almost daily. I had no idea I was in renal failure for the third time in my life and what the year would bring. My Spring this year is filled with blessings. I have been able to go watch Chloe in her golf matches, spend time with Anna as she prepares to graduate high school in   about 5 weeks and the energy to do my first  garden. I am so thankful that I am able to do all the things that I enjoy and be involved in what the girls have going on. Jason and I are coming up on our 20th anniversary and I am so excited, because we are planning a trip to go somewhere alone. It has been a while since we have done that and I can’t wait. It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since I started feeling bad and how much has happened.  God has been so good to me and I’m excited about being able to encourage others who are facing kidney disease.

live from the crazy farm,



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Have you signed up to be a donor?

The month of April is a “Donate Life Month”.  Have you signed up yet? If you have not registered to be a donor you don’t have to wait until you get your driver license renewed, you can register by going to kidney.org/transplantatio… and see how you can register to be a donor today.

Registering is not enough

I always had thought because my driver license had the little heart on it to indicate I was a donor it was a done deal……my organs would be donated if I died and that is far from the truth. I have become a lot more educated on organ donation with the help of the Alabama Organ Center. Don’t get me wrong it is so important for us to register to be an organ donor, but if we don’t take the time to set down with our family and explain our wishes the chances of our organs being donated drops off dramatically. Your next of kin will make the decision whether or not your organs will be donated at the time you pass, not you.

It’s a very sensitive issue.

When a family member is setting beside a love one as their life is drawing to an end the last thing that is on their mind sometimes is saving someone else life. I  hope that does not sound harsh, but sometimes they are consumed with the  fact of having to let someone go. Most of the situations where organs can be donated the donor has suffered a head injury, which means it has been an unexpected and sudden tragedy. So lets take a minute and put yourself in the family’s situation. You are hurting emotionally , in some cases you are losing the very thing that means the most to you in life,. In your mind you are still hoping and praying for a miracle and when someone mentions to you about taking the organs from  your loved one you might become offend and think they don’t care about your family. Please understand that is not the case if this has happened  to you or if it does sometime in the future. The hospital is required to ask these difficult questions and it is hard on the person asking the question also…..but it must be done. Please understand they know what a difficult time you are going through and would never intentionally do anything to offend you or your family.

You can remove the burden from your family

Please understand that your family is emotionally torn and is having a difficult time with the fact of the actual death and does not need any added stress. I have told my family my wishes and we have discussed it in detail. That is one decision they will not have to make. They can leave the hospital knowing they made the right choice and have a peace that through the decision other will continue to live.

Where will your organ got when you pass away? Turn to dust or save a life?

Pressing on,




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Who is most likely to donate?

I found an article on the National Kidney Foundation website that shared some interesting news when it comes living organ donation.  The article stated financial and educational barriers seem to play a major role and make it more difficult for the poor and minorities to give or receive an organ. Advances in immune-suppression have made it safer to receive an organ from someone who isn’t biologically related. Less-invasive surgery techniques also make it easier to donate. But while medical costs for a living donor are typically covered by health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid additional expenses – such as travel, lodging and time off from work – are not.

They are normally emotionally attached.

To see who was most likely to donate, researchers looked at information about  adult kidney transplants in the United States that occurred with a living donor. They gathered information on education, race, insurance type, zip code and whether people were related. They found that kidney donations from non-relatives have become more common, rising from seven percent of living donations in 1997 to 26 percent in 2006. The vast majority of unrelated donors have an emotional relationship with the patient, such as friends, in-laws co-workers, church members . In Jennifer’s case her donors  were her mom, a friend from church and her pastor. In a few cases, though, organs came from volunteers with no relationships.

Financial restraints have huge impact.

But they found that both unrelated donors and recipients were generally older, likely to live in slightly higher-income neighborhoods than related donors and recipients, and more likely to have a college degree. Patients with higher socioeconomic status are probably more likely to have access to potential donors who have similar means and resources. “It’s not because (people in lower socioeconomic status groups) care about their loved ones any less, but because they can’t pay for the flight, the hotel or take the risk of losing their job. Kidney donors typically have to take six weeks off work after the transplant. In addition, informational barriers may explain why recipients of organs from unrelated donors are more likely to have had more education.

Awareness is vital

That is why it is so important to educate & promote organ donation at an early age . Too many people don’t know the facts and not enough volunteers to assist people willing to be a living donor. Jennifer and I hope one day be able to assist with the financial needs of anyone who is willing to make the sacrifice to becoming a living donor through the non-profit.

Pressing on ,


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He shook my heart

The past six months have been quite the journey. I can’t explain the life changing experience that consumed my life. When my mom began to get sick again I couldn’t understand why. I mean, I knew she had recurring kidney problems but the idea that God was allowing her to go through pain and sickness was confusing.  Little did I know God had an unimaginable plan ready to shake the heart and mind of a teenage girl.

He has plans for me

A few days before Christmas my dad got a phone call from our pastor saying he wanted to come over and share something with my mom and dad. That evening my pastor shared with my family that his kidney was a match for my mom. When I heard the news a wave of emotions overwhelmed me. Through my moms illness God drew me closer to Him. I realized that I had made God earth-bound, I let myself forget that nothing in the universe holds Him down.  He proved Himself once again invincible, all-powerful, and uncontainable. He holds my life in the palm of His hand and He knows the paths I will take and the bridges I will cross. “For I know the plans I have for you,’declares the Lord,’ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11.

My senior project

As my mom went through her transplant process, I came to know of a boy named Dylan. Dylan is in the 7th grade at my high school. I had heard through the grape-vine that he was struggling with renal failure like my mom and has recently had a kidney transplant too. Around the same time my dad and I had been brain storming about a project for my senior class. Little did I know once again God was going to blow my mind. This past fall I was elected as my class president, not knowing this would give me and advantage in making an impact in the lives of someone I didn’t even know. Back to the senior project so my dad and I got in touch with people from the Alabama Organ Center who linked us with Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges is a camp for kids and teens that have been sick most of  their whole life and have received an organ transplant. The camp provides a place for kids to experience things they may have missed out on and to teach them how to take care of themselves. Camp Bridges was the answer! Through a series of meetings and a ton of planning my senior class will be putting on a week of fundraising from April 30th  to May 4th to send a child and family to camp bridges this summer. Now how do we raise awareness of kidney disease…Dylan. The fundraiser of the class of 2012 from Jacksonville High School is going to be in the honor of Dylan.

Sitting back and thinking how God has used my moms kidney failure to change my life and give me a chance to impact those around me is mind-boggling. God can change a heart in the blink of an eye.  My faith and relationship with my Lord was strengthened, refreshed, and renewed thanks to His mighty plan involving a beautiful and loving mother. “Jesus Christ is the first and last, author and finisher, beginning and end, alpha and omega, and by Him all other things hold together. He must be the first or nothing. God never comes next!” – Vance Havner




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