A poem by kidney transplant recipient Diane Jinga
Children play with dolls and dress up for pretend, Getting ready for the real world some day. But for me it was all but just a game. A real world of moms and dads and babies were far, far away. Instead I faced a world of hospitals, doctors and fear. Kidney Dialysis was my fate I would hear. Until I met you, my Friend. Together from the first time we met things went so well. You made all my dreams come true, just being able to finally grow up and live a normal Life was too good to be true. But together we went on to college, something I had forgotten because Didn’t have the energy to survive the long hours. Together we built a career and lived on our own. Our dating experiences had its ups and downs, And you were there through it all, laughing with me when things Went well and crying with me when things were not so right. We had a lot of fun in the disco, staying up late and meeting people. We traveled to so many places for business and pleasure We saw a lot of sites We were challenged with a lot of responsibility. We had our times of winning and losing. Throughout it all we finally saw that Most beautiful Wedding Day And the look of happiness in my own and my new Husband’s face. The first cry of our newborn son, as he was born to us, a sound from Heaven to our ears His first words, his first steps and celebrating as he turned One. This could all have never happened with out you my friend. My family and I are so proud. Most of all you have given me the strength and confidence to keep going, Now that you have gone away I need to find another one to continue the life you have started for me But you will never be forgotten. I will constantly remind people of the 23 precious years But don’t worry my friend, In the End, we will all meet again at our Father’s Heaven Gate Mom, Dad, Husband, Son and Me To shake your hand and give you a hug And to say how much you are loved And most important of all To thank you for the Gift of Life.
We received the following email from Diane:
"I want to share my story to people who want to know what it means to have a kidney transplant. I used to do talks for promotions of organ donations, while the other speakers told about their hospital experiences, I read my poem. I have depended on two cadaver kidney transplants through my journey of life. These last couple of months I have been diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer and I desired to leave my story and part of my legacy that I was a fighter with all the health challenges of being a kidney transplant, but yet I achieved all my goals in life with no regrets.
I started as an infant with kidney difficulties that lead to kidney failure when I was 16 years old. I did home dialysis with my Dad while waiting for a transplant for a year and a half(1975). I promoted kidney organ donations, met Mayor Richard Daly Sr. and Ann Landers at the time in 1978. The transplant lasted 23 years. Enough time for me to get my career, live life like a normal person with all its ups and downs, get married and have a child. I had to wait 5 1/2 years for my second transplant in 2003. I never let all the complications of being a kidney transplant : CMV infections, colon complications and bladder issues, stop me until now. The second transplant never let me down. Believe me if I made it look easy to people, it wasn’t for me – but worth every effort I put into life.
I found it extremely frustrating as a kidney transplant going outside the transplant team to get medical help. I have extensive medical knowledge to stop medical professionals and ask questions about what they are trying to do and make my own decision what course of action pursue. Patients need to really be their own advocate and take charge and never hesitate to go back to their transplant team to ask questions."