Written by Tresha Glowacki, Living Kidney Donor
Tresha Glowacki's greatest passion is to serve others. Whether it's volunteering for her PTO, a charity event, or volunteering her kidney, she lives to serve!
Jun was born with nephrotic syndrome, and after years of trying to save his diseased kidneys, he had to have a double nephrectomy - a surgery that removed both of his kidneys in June of 2010. Jun was on the organ transplant list and had been moved up to a priority status, but that didn't take away the fact that it could still take three to five years to find a donor. Given the fact that he had no kidneys, and depended on daily dialysis of ten to twelve hours, his life span was less than half of the estimated wait time.
I met Jun through a couple of wonderful ladies and friends of mine. One friend, Sandra, had lost her son in February of 2010 due to an accident. Wanting to help another friend and knowing my affiliation with Taylor’s Gift Foundation and organ donor registration, she asked if there was something I could do for Jun. She had hoped trying to save Jun would help her in the loss of her own son; since her son’s passing, she and Jun had grown close and spent lots of time together. She also shared with me that Jun, age 13 at the time, had come to her asking how to prepare his Mom for his own death. That shook me to my core, and I knew I needed to help.
Love at First Sight
Jun won my heart over the first second I laid eyes on him. I knew in my heart that I would be dedicated to helping him. Kind of the "love at first sight" feeling, but in a maternal and sister-in-Christ way. Over the next few months, Jun and I spent many days, nights, phone calls, and time together just hanging out being silly, laughing, and bonding. At one point, we had a media plea through both television and newspaper to “find Jun a kidney". After three people turned out NOT to be a match for Jun, I knew it was my turn to try.
I secretly started testing in December 2010. It was seamless, easy, and a spiritual journey I never knew I would be so blessed to travel. I was packing and ready to leave for the airport to celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary with a trip to Mexico on January 27, 2010, when I received a call from UT Southwestern. My transplant coordinator said, “Good morning Tresha, I just wanted to tell you that you are a match and an approved living organ donor for Jun. Now go and enjoy your vacation.” I was ecstatic.
It’s Not About Us, It’s About Everyone Around Us
I tell you this was a plan from God. It was perfectly orchestrated and miraculous. I mean of all the people, me! I love Jun like he is my own blood... and now, he is. The main point Jun and I both want to stress to everyone we meet is one of awareness. Like my friend Everson Walls told me after his donation to his friend Ron Springs, "It's not about us, it's about everyone else around us." I get that now.
For Jun, it's ten-hour days of dialysis, boxes of dialysis supplies everywhere, chaos, and worry... all gone, for the most part. For me, it's having a purpose by the Grace of God; it's about restoring a family to a normality like they have never known.
We have celebrated our "anniversaries" each month. Just last month we celebrated our three year anniversary - on March 7, 2014. The celebrations are not just a celebration of life, but also love, having a purpose, having one another, and the magical almost indescribable joy that fills us, especially me, each and every day. In a way, it’s like I feel more complete as a person, even though a physical part of me has been taken away.
Being a living organ donor is the best decision I have ever made, and no matter what the outcome, I would do it all over again.
Did You Know?
There are currently over 122,200 men, women, and children that are waiting for an organ in the U.S. and every ten minutes, a new name is added to this waiting list. Get the "Statistics About Organ Donation & Transplants" one-sheet and share some organ donation stats with your friends!