|(My wife, Kristi...the Big Sister)|
|(The little sister, my sis in law, Megan with her favorite niece and nephew)|
For that 30 years, the medications that she had to take to stay alive attacked the arteries to her heart and her kidneys. A couple years ago, that little girl got a second heart transplant and an extra kidney. However the BK virus, which infects the human kidneys showed up and hurt all three kidneys. This now young woman has lost much control of the filtering through her kidneys and needs another transplant to remain off of dialysis.
When the previous little girl was diagnosed, her big sister was devastated. At a young age, she had to face the possibility of losing her beloved little sister, there were no guarantees that she would come home from the first heart transplant.
Once that was successful, this older sister had to watch as her little sister struggled with rejection, not always being able to do what every other child could do and with the reality that her parents would not always be around as they had a very sick little girl to deal with.
This big sister grew up with the understanding that she would do whatever she could to help her little sister survive.
Next Tuesday, the little sister, my sister-in-law Megan McKinly, will be receiving a kidney transplant.
The person who will be donating the kidney is alive and well, it is her big sister, my wife, Kristi McKinley Hunter.
My sis in law is an amazing person. She has fought with a relatively great attitude her entire life and everyone knows how wonderful she is and I would never want to undermine any thoughts on that.
But my wife will be a hero, she is a hero too.
There are no guarantees with this surgery. You can imagine the nerves that my in laws are feeling knowing that both children will be under the knife in the same day, but the dreaded BK virus could come back and attack this new kidney making the whole thing for nothing, or says my wife.
Yet, I have told her to look at it that this is the next best action. If my wife did not do this dialysis is a necessity and who knows when she would be put on the transplant list and when it could happen again. The next best action is for her to offer one of her kidneys and give her a fighting chance for the next 1, 2 or 3 years. And if BK doesn't show back up, well...that's the best possible occurrence.
My wife is a coaches wife, she is the best coaches wife, as I have written she has allowed me to work basketball clinics all over the world, she's kept the book when I was a varsity coach and talked me out of quitting many times.
She's the toughest non-heart transplant recipient I know.
She's a loving mother and wife and I cannot think of a better role model for my children to look up to.
Sure, giving a kidney, it's the right thing to do and most siblings would do it, but she does it with no reservation, with a heart full of love, and anxiety that it works to help her little sister survive and thrive..