Marshmallow Mondays


H O P E

One day a few months ago, Lily and I were having fun with some homemade clay, and an idea struck me when I found my kidney cookie-cutter in one of my kitchen drawers. I had used this to make medals back in June for our Share Your Spare 5K Fundraiser. Christmas is coming, so why not make some ornaments?  So we did.  And we stamped them with the four letter word that has kept us going throughout all of Ryan’s many health struggles. HOPE.

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This morning, Lily and I had the privilege of decorating a Christmas tree with our hope kidneys for an annual fundraiser called “Trees Of Life,” where decorated Christmas trees are auctioned off to support The Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky (KHAKY).  I am truly honored to be part of this special event, which benefits such a valuable organization that is dedicated to serving kidney disease patients, increasing awareness and early detection of chronic kidney disease, and promoting organ donation.  KHAKY was one of our sponsors at Share Your Spare 5K, so I am absolutely thrilled to be able to support them on this event.

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My goal for everyone who sees this post or attends Trees Of Life is that they can gain some hope from our story. Ryan was just one of the 100,000+ people waiting for a life-saving kidney. He was in end-stage renal disease with no other options but to receive a transplant. This tree represents the hope that we hung onto so tightly, and the new life that resulted from it. We share our story now to ignite hope in those who need it most.

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As I stood back and looked at our finished tree this morning, it hit me again that my husband is not on the waiting list anymore. I created these hope kidneys prior to Ryan’s transplant, so the fact that we can be part of something like this and offer our success story as hope, is something that I hold very dear to my heart. I also realized in that moment that I forgot to bring something for the top of the tree, but I quickly remembered that our family gained an angel on October 11, 2014, so maybe, just maybe that angel can shine down on this tree, brighter than any star could have.

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This holiday season, please keep all those waiting for life-saving organs,as well as all of the donor families, in your thoughts and prayers. The waiting list is long one, filled with people anxiously waiting for their phone to ring. Having lived that way for five months, we know what a battle it is to keep hope alive. For those who have been living that way for many years, you can only imagine how hard it is to not lose hope day after day, month after month, year after year, all while suffering health problems that become worse as time goes by. Sharing our story is just one way that we can help to keep that hope alive in those who are struggling with their wait.

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By “hanging some hope” on this special Christmas tree, we acknowledge each of the 100,000+ people waiting for a life-saving kidney, and we want them to know that we will never lose hope for them.

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