There are very few benefits to having needed a kidney transplant.
I mean really, it’s not any fun to boast you take 16 pills a day, daily have to drink 2 L of water and get bloodwork regularly to make sure your borrowed kidney is happy in its new home.
What is fun is to meet other people who have been through what you have been through, and to learn to take a bit of pride in your extraordinary difference.
In the winter of January 2014, Jesse participated in the Winter World Transplant Games in Chapelle D’Abondance, France. At 8, he was the youngest competitor, however, he was old enough to be fed and filled and built up by the camaraderie, the podium cheers for his four gold medals, and encouragement of his transplanted peers. It was an adventure that moved our hearts in so many ways. Some 100 people, skiing for the love of it, with much more passion that professional skill, and with more gratitude and thankfulness and enthusiasm than you will ever see outside Christmas morning with a five year old!
In the summer of 2016, he will get to try his hand at summer sports at the Canadian Summer Transplant Games in Toronto. A little bit of running, a little bit of cycling, possibly some bowling and probably a whole lot of blubbering from this proud Mumma.
It’s such a privilege to get to do things like this, and meet people with whom we not so surprisingly, have an instant bond. We pray such meetings will be a beautiful, confidence-building experiences for Jesse. Not that he suffers from a lack of confidence in himself. He’s not quite that self-aware yet. But we are trying to build in him confidence for future years, to help him store experiences and information in his memory banks now so that when he needs it, he can know to know that it’s OK to be just a little bit different.
We want him to know, like we all need to know, that there are unusual benefits to every burden God asks you to bear – if you look for them.