Over 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Since that time, a lot has happened - kid were born and have grown-up, business has fallen and risen and life has happened. One of the things that has been a constant are my friends - which all of you are. I actually think often that in the scheme of things my "net worth" - the thing I value the most - are my friendships. Many of you know the history behind my kidney disease, but for those of you who don't - my mom was affected by CKD and lived most of her life with one kidney. That hereditary gene combined with a couple of incidents in my life had a great effect on what got me to where I am today.
Today, I thank my friend Mark Porizky for being the first to step up to donate, only to find out that his genetic make-up wouldn't permit him to do so. As I was on the national list for kidney transplants (which could be years waiting). the true hero in my journey today is my friend Jennifer Bedford. From a simple lunch with her hearing my story, Jennifer's immediate reaction was "well of course you can have my kidney!" I was in shock and then awe, a state in which I remain today. She has never wavered in her commitment and has brought so much love and care to my journey. Someone once asked Jennifer "why she was doing this?" and her answer was to "show her kids what true humanity looks like." Jennifer's family (Michael, Helen and James) have been amazing supporters of this process and I can't thank them enough.
What my journey really has taught me is the true meaning of love. Love for my donor, love of friends and love for my family. Elana, Eden, Auggie, my dear friends Hillary and Stuart, my brother-in-law Seth, my parents Peter, Eileen and Mitch and my cousin Leslie have been amazing supporters. From Elana, I have been enveloped in a demonstration of love and support that I never knew was possible - one that has made such a difference in my life and well-being.
Thank you to all off you have been there for me every step of the way - the transplant takes place on Tuesday morning at Cedars Sinai. It will be a remarkable day and another step along the journey that we call life. I am supposed to be in the hospital for 5-7 days and recovering at home in the weeks that follow. I will do my best to update you all and post here, and to have Elana update everyone to the success of the surgery and my progress.
Until then, I hope that you will all know how much love and joy my friendship with you brings to me.