Photo Contest

Tiffany Willis

Photo Description

Jody and Tiffany kidney transplant announcements

My Story

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
This kidney announcement picture was our lemonade.

In the 18 years I have loved my husband, we have had our fair share of mountains to climb together. 8 years of infertility ended in a beautiful way that we could have never imagined, but when we closed that chapter, dreams closed with it. Making life and taking pictures as that life grew, was a difficult dream to give up. Life gave me lemons.

When my husband needed a 2nd kidney transplant, we began the kidney donor process, in hopes I could donate to him. In the back of my mind I had this silly idea. IF I was a match, IF everything fell into place, we could do our own kind of picture announcements that we missed out on not having children.

In August 2023 I made it through to final donor testing appointments, but 2 cysts on my left kidney AND a short artery/branched vein on that same kidney paused all conversation about me being a donor.
I saw a local urologist to further investigate the cysts and I was cleared of any future concern. However, that urologist stated that my artery/vein anatomy on the left kidney is a reason the donor team may not let me donate.
I was told that the surgery would be too complicated. We took that as a no and we focused on spreading the word to friends and family in search of a kidney for Jody. AMAZING friends and family tried to donate, but were denied for one reason or another.
Now, at no time did any doctor say if I was a kidney match to my husband. I assumed they just didn’t finish those labs because of the left kidney issues. BUT I needed to know! So I asked…
I’M A MATCH!
So now I couldn’t take no as an answer!
On Christmas Eve 2023 I went into communication mad woman mode. Doctors, coordinator, nurses, fax machines, squeaky wheels; I had to make it very clear to the donor team to reconsider me as an kidney donor option for my husband.
After a new set of surgical eyes, I was approved to donate my kidney to my husband. May 28, 2024 is our transplant surgery date! The day that I can give my husband a 2nd chance at living this amazing adventure of a life together!

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