Not to toot my own horn but I am pretty sure this is the BEST thing I have ever done in my life so far! Last June 06 I Donated a Kidney to one of my managers at work. WE are both doing Great! My life is just as cRaZy as ever I just drink MORE water. Below is the article that ran in the AZ Republic. Enjoy!
People still help people
Jul. 7, 2007
Just when you think the world's gone insane, what with the warring and the ranting and the general overall nastiness that seems to permeate the air we breathe . . . Just when you wonder whether it's time to put on a flak jacket and assume the fetal position, you meet Shelli Bates, and the outlook for this planet seems to soften.
The Gilbert woman is not a glass-half-full sort. She's more the cup-runneth-over type, a 42-year-old single mother of four who is grateful for what she's been given and believes in the concept of payback. She shrugs at the idea that she's doing anything extraordinary.
"I grew up in a family where, if someone needs something and you had it, you gave it," she said.
Caryn Bebeau looks at Bates as if she's wondering what planet the woman departed before her arrival here.
"I kept saying, 'Are you sure? Are you sure?' " said Bebeau, a 55-year-old Mesa mother of four with six grandchildren and a seventh on the way. "I can't believe it. I can't believe it still. Do you realize she's saving my life?"
A couple of years ago, Bebeau's appendix ruptured, and soon after, her kidneys began to fail. Medication kept them working for a while, but over the past year, life has become mostly an exercise of just getting through the day, which is no way to live. She works, she trudges home, she's asleep before the 6 o'clock news.
It was time, her doctor said, to prepare for dialysis. Either that or find a new kidney.
Not so easy to do. There are 1,000 Arizonans waiting for kidneys, according to Stacy Underwood of the Donor Network of Arizona. The wait can be up to four or five years unless you're lucky enough to have a family member who's a match and willing to give up an organ.
Bebeau has a son who was eligible to donate. But his kidneys weren't fully functioning, and doctors ruled out the gift five months ago.
The day she found out, Bebeau came into the Mesa title company branch office she manages, and the look on her face told Bates all she needed to know.
Bates needed a job a few years ago after being a stay-at-home mom for 17 years. Bebeau gave it to her. Since then, Bates has risen from receptionist to marketing rep for LandAmerica Lawyers Title.
Now she's returning the favor.
"It wasn't even something to think about," she said. "She needed a kidney. I've got two. I don't need two, so I said go ahead and take one."
Underwood said such a reaction is rare. "It's a miracle," she said, "to have somebody willing to just say, 'Here, I'll give you my kidney.' "
Some in Bates' family cautioned about being overly generous, pointing out that someday she may need that kidney. But Bates isn't wired that way. Maybe it's the quote mounted on her bedroom wall. "Things happen for a reason," it says. "Just believe." And she does.
A week ago, the two women underwent surgery at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix. From one woman to another, a gift unimaginable in this world.
Or, as it turns out, not so unimaginable at all.
Bates' friend, Greg Guthrie, told me that both women are home now, and Bebeau is feeling better than she has in years. As for Bates, she's already counting the days until she can take her son on the trip she gives to each of her kids when they turn 17 - a trip to ride roller coasters.
"Life is a journey," she said. "You have to enjoy the journey."
For a better understanding of donation visit: http://www.donatelife.net
For more information about Banner Transplant services visit: http://www.bannerhealth.com
To become a donor register at: www.donatelife.net/CommitToDonation