By Arielle Feit
My parents met while they were dating other people and, at first, they really did not like each other. But a few months later, they went on their first date together to the circus and had a great time. In fact, the night ended with their engagement! Just about 32 years later, my dad finds out he needs a kidney transplant and my mom is an extraordinary match. Now I don’t know about you, but it sounds to me like they really are a match made in heaven.
My parents have put up with one another for more than 36 years, but they just celebrated what they consider to be their new anniversary – the anniversary of their kidney transplant – for the fifth time. Some would call that undying love, and others would call it a miracle. On their anniversary, they asked all of their friends to come over for a barbecue – some remembered what day it was, but most did not. As my mom got up to speak, she was overcome with emotion. She had gathered everyone to thank them for all their support during the transplant process – for visiting my dad in the hospital, bringing her food at home, calling and checking in, and she even thanked my grandparents for keeping their distance so my parents did not have to worry about them. My dad got up to kiss her, offering only a small expression of the immense gratitude he feels for his life-saving gift of a wife. But when my mom’s best friend got up to tell her how grateful we all are for her selfless act and how thankful we are that they are both alive and healthy five years later, they ended up embracing in endless sobs. It was an emotional day, and though I had already signed up for the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K Run to benefit the National Kidney Foundation, it was at that moment that I realized how tremendous an impact it has had on my life.
So tomorrow I will run the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K with the hope that my participation will give other groups of friends the chance to thank one another for their support and love post-transplant. I run with the hope that patients with kidney disease might resume their lives as grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends, and that their health will no longer be the focus of their energies. I run with the hope that families of patients with kidney disease will celebrate the priceless anniversaries of successful transplants.
I am running the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K because I have witnessed and believe in the miracles of medicine, the unmatched power of love and commitment, and in matches made in heaven.