For me, 2017 was laser-focused on only one goal: Finding a living kidney donor for my wife Vivian Fried.
Our situation during the year went from urgent to practically desperate. Vivian took care of herself and dutifully went to dialysis six days a week, but time was running out. Her body would not take much more.
Then, through the miracle of social media, one thing led to another. God willing, we’ve found a wonderful, beautiful woman in Miami who is ready to provide the life-giving kidney donation.
Vivian’s transplant is set for Jan. 2, four years to the day that she was found unresponsive on the floor of our apartment.
In those four years, at least 500,000 people have interacted with my messages on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
Dozens of people volunteered to be tested. Only 15 people matched due to Vivian’s rare blood type. Many went through the entire qualification process, but none made it to the finish line.
Until now. A precious gift is here, and not a moment too soon.
I will always remember 2017 for the awareness we created surrounding kidney disease and living kidney donation. And for the many, many friends who have supported us financially and spiritually as we’ve walked this difficult road.
We are so looking forward to getting on with life. We’re even planning the trips we haven’t taken for years, possibly including one to Atlanta for my Mom’s 80th birthday. Many thanks to Richard Stacey and the folks at Victoria Nursing and Rehabilitation for taking care of Mom after her recent auto accident.
Truthfully, wherever I go with Vivian after her recovery is going to be special. It will be terrific to see her unleash all of her pent-up love and happiness onto the world.
You know, the fact is Vivian has been the one to keep me going these past four years. She has not missed a single dialysis treatment in that time, and the strength she has demonstrated has been nothing short of amazing.
I am so proud of her!
When this is all over – that is, when Vivian’s health is finally restored – the two of us are going to write a book and take our story on the road. We’ll use our story to help as many people as possible through the deep water that kidney disease brings into a life.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone – there are so many of you – who have supported Vivian and me during the last four years. We absolutely could not have made it without you.
God bless you!