First time meeting my kidney recipient, TinyMom (February 15, 2011)

I met Kirti on Twitter about a year ago.  We have a lot of the same friends, so it was natural to follow each other and see what’s up.  We went out to dinner this past summer to FnB, a really great restaurant in Scottsdale.  I don’t go to Scottsdale, but it was a great evening with my other friends Lara and Joel, who I know through Yelp.  When people mock me for my involvement in social media, I let them know that the greatest people in my life are the ones I’ve met through Twitter & Yelp.  Social media also saves lives…

Kirti started talking about how sick her mother was with kidney failure.  She made a Facebook page to keep people updated on her mother’s condition.  She also posted that her mother was put onto a wait list to receive a donated kidney.   I didn’t hesitate and blurted out, on Twitter “I’ll do it.  what do I have to do?”  I don’t have much of a filter.  It seemed like the right thing to do.  I couldn’t help my father when he was dying, but I could do whatever I could to improve the quality of life for Kirti’s mom.

This past weekend, I finally got to meet her mother, Anu.  I had to initiate the process of meeting, as the recipient is not allowed to do so.  I guess it’s kind of like adoption: the child can search for their birth mom, but not the other way around.

Channel 10 was supposed to be there, too.  I didn’t want our first meeting to be filmed, so I arrived about an hour ahead of time.  I was anticipating a cry-fest and brought my makeup with me.  I can’t be on camera looking a mess!  I didn’t need it.   The instant I met Anu, I got the biggest hug from the littlest person!  I felt an instant connection to her.  What got me most was her sense of humor.  Both she and her husband have great senses of humor and I laughed a lot.  Her father asked “Is your blood white, too?”  Oh, they’re Indian.  Dot, not feather.  From India.  (Hahaha).  Hindu, too.  I knew the question of my religion would come up sometime and her father asked “You are Christian, no?”  “Uh, no.  I’m just Amy.”  It seemed an ok answer, because he didn’t bring it up again.

We talked about yoga a lot.  I’ve been doing it for over 10 years.  I was humbled with some history of its origins.  Then, we started eating.  Anu made me traditional Indian food, which is my favorite.  The film crew showed up (a cameraman.  No newscaster, just the guy behind the camera.) and filmed us eating, sharing recipes and interviewing each of us about the donation.  It was really nice.

As lunch wound down, we all sat and drank Chai.  I honestly feel I should have either: a. been born in the early 1900s so I could be at a ripe age to be a flapper and enjoy it or b. been Indian.  There was a very spiritual connection that day and it exhausted and exhilarated me at the same time.

I don’t look at what I am doing as saving a life.  What I’m doing is giving someone QUALITY of life.  Because, honestly, I can’t see this tough little woman as being beat by ANYTHING.

As I left, I said out my car window “Thanks for lunch!”  Anu’s response?  “Thank you for the kidney!”


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