Marshmallow Mondays

God Bless Our Donor Family

October 11, 2015 marked Ryan’s One Year Transplant Anniversary. It’s been one year since he’s been diabetes and kidney disease free, all thanks to his organ donor. The gift of life is a truly miraculous gift. Our donor family was in our hearts and on our minds even more than usual yesterday. Because of them, we were able to have a day surrounded by many of our closest Kentucky friends who have been there every step of the way throughout Ryan’s transplant journey.

But first, I had to something to take care of… 13.1 miles. Last year, I was all set to run this race, but when Ryan ended up having his transplant, there was no way I was going to leave his side one day after his transplant. So this year when the race fell on the same date as his transplant anniversary, I knew I wanted to participate. Knowing that my healthy husband was at the Finish Line with Rydan and Lily, waiting to cheer me on, was the perfect way to kick off our day. I honestly never felt stronger on a half marathon, and I beat my personal best time by almost four minutes. It was such a beautiful morning with stunning Kentucky horse farm scenery. I loved every minute of it.


The next part of our celebration was kicking off Lexington’s first ever Kidney Walk. We were honored to be invited to this special walk not just to celebrate Ryan’s health, but to provide support and hope to those who are fighting kidney disease. Prior to the start of the walk, we shared a few words about why the day is special for us, and also read a dedication to those whose lives have been affected by kidney disease.

photo 1

We were surrounded by lots of friends who came to walk with us, including one very special lady, our Transplant Coordinator, Darlene. I’ve kept in touch with Darlene throughout the past year. She’s a regular reader of our blog, and has been a strong supporter and friend before, during and after Ryan’s transplant. I was absolutely thrilled when she accepted my invitation to join us at the walk, and decided it would be a great surprise for Ryan. I was right.


It felt so good to do this walk with some of our friends who know first hand what the past few years have been like for us. It was such a beautiful afternoon, filled with smiles, great conversations, and laughs, all for a cause that is very close to our hearts. We are well aware of how blessed we have been, and know that there are so many others who are struggling with kidney disease every day. We hope that our participation helps to generate more awareness for this awful disease.






photo 2

The last part of our day was a picnic at our house, where we were joined by our Kentucky friends who have become like family over the past three years. These are people who welcomed us with open arms when we first moved to Lexington, and they have stood by our side ever since. They showed up at midnight in our bedroom after my first 911 call. They drove my car to the hospital so that I could ride in the ambulance with Ryan. They stayed with Rydan and Lily during numerous doctor’s appointments and hospital stays so that we could keep life as normal as possible for them. They set up a meal train and delivered home-cooked meals to us. They took care of Brooks when he was still a crazy, energetic puppy. They cleaned our house. Over and over again, they sacrificed their own families for ours. One of them just happened to be near Cincinnati when we received “the call,” so she met us at the hospital and spent time with us during those long hours of waiting and not knowing. I could go on and on about the ways that these friends have helped and supported us throughout some very scary times. In doing so, they made our lives easier and allowed us to focus on Ryan’s health. We simply adore them, we thank God for them, and we appreciate all that they have so selflessly done for us.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening for a picnic. We grilled burgers and hot dogs, we talked, we laughed, the kids played outside, and we enjoyed some time reflecting on the past few years. It was the perfect end to a very special day.




1 Comment so far
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Bridgit – So happy for you and your family! Glad to see you are all doing well.

Comment by Jill Mummau

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