On May 21st, 2002 I received a new kidney from my brother.  Today marks 10 years of that very special day.

For those of you that do not know, I was diagnosed with Lupus in 1991, when I was 17 years old and in just a few years, my kidneys had failed.  I was on dialysis for seven years and I stayed on dialysis for years because I was too scared to even think about a kidney transplant.

Sometimes I feel like it was just a few years ago and other times it feels like it was a lifetime ago that I was so sick and always in and out of hospitals.  When I first got sick, my brother offered to give me one of his kidneys and I denied it, why ?…..because he was my little brother.  I heard that the surgery was so bad and that the doctors would have to cut half way around his body just to get the kidney out and there was no way I wanted him or anyone I love to go through that.

Then a few more years passed and I was getting worse, my brother offered again and by that time the operation had changed, kidney transplants were now being done by laparoscopy, which is a surgical procedure that uses a thin, lighted tube put though a cut in the belly to get to the kidney.  So we proceeded with the transplant,  I can’t even imagine what my parents were going through that day, having two of their children in the operating room at the same time.

That day my life changed for the better and for that I will always be grateful to my brother.  I can never thank him enough for giving me my life back!

I love you very much little brother and can not imagine life without you or the wonderful family I have.

Here are a couple pictures of us as children and then as adults.