Connection & Coincidence – Living Kidney Donor

Today I experienced the most amazing story of connection! I have often said  “we are all connected” and with that  I mean whatever is happening in our life today or in our past has probably been experienced by others.  Our connection makes the world a smaller, more intimate place of human bonding.  This incredible set of circumstances really bears that out.Hands

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I have been interviewing people who have donated or received a kidney for a book I am writing about human kindness, awareness and connection. Some of the people I am interviewing are from my own donor exchange and others were referred to me through friends.  I was introduced to Stephen through my close friend Barb, who’s brother had served with Stephen in the Army.  They had been stationed in Germany.  Stephen and I spoke briefly a few days ago about scheduling a time to talk. Then, after reading my blog he emailed me that we had both donated on the same day just 8 months ago! I thought that was a nice coincidence.

Stephen and I had decided to talk by phone Sunday morning and I was anxious to hear his story. You see, Stephen chose to donate his kidney to a complete stranger.  On two separate occasions while leaving church Stephen felt in his heart that it was his calling to donate and his wife Jill agreed.  After doing some research on line, Stephen reached out to a man in Chicago and a women in the state of Washington explaining he wanted to donate a kidney and was looking for resources to get started.

Harvey from Chicago answered him immediately and gave him links and information to get him started. He began to build a relationship with Harvey and did not hear back from the women in Washington for some time. When he did hear from her she apologized explaining that for some reason Stephen’s email did not get to her right away.  She gave him some information similar to what Harvey had shared and she mentioned that she was an advocate for several people in need of a kidney – and one of them was Harvey.

Stephen was not aware that Harvey was in need of kidney, and immediately made a decision to donate to Harvey,  feeling it was meant to be.

Another coincidence is that Harvey had emailed me the day before my surgery (after finding my blog) wishing me good luck and telling me his surgery was scheduled for the same day. I remember thinking about him that Thursday on August 16 and hoping everything had gone well. I find it extraordinary how we are all connected.

  •    Harvey emailing me the day before my surgery and introducing himself.
  •    Meeting Stephen who turns out to be the donor for Harvey
  •    All three of us receiving our surgery the same day
  •    Stephen contacting an advocate in Washington and then referring Harvey as a donor
  •    Stephen being a long time friend with one of my closest friend’s brother.
  •    And ironically it was Barb (my long time friend) who drove me to Pittsburgh for my surgery.


It’s amazing to me how we are connected.  Who would have thought someone who sent me a random email 8 months ago that I would be meeting his donor today and that would come from a close friend!  Truly enlightening.

At times in our life we can feel so alone and wonder where we fit in. Our differences can often feel like separation to us however when we share — we then realize we are not separate, we are not alone.  Today I wake up knowing that we are truly connected.

Feeling as one.


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4 thoughts on “Connection & Coincidence – Living Kidney Donor”

  1. Wendy:

    My doctor told my healthcare provider about my small kidney chain and they asked if they could do a video which they then shared with their staff. Kaiser Permanente strongly encourages their staff to give back to their community in whatever ways fit. Here is a link to the short video:

    As I said in the video, I have an easy answer if someone asks me what the best day of my life has been.

    John Haag
    Internship/Career Counselor
    University of Denver
    University Career Center
    Driscoll Student Center South
    2050 E. Evans Ave., Suite 30
    Denver, CO 80208-2603
    Appointments: 303-871-2150
    Direct: 303-871-4309
    Click on Pioneer Careers to access the job and internship databases at DU.

    The best things in life are not things.

  2. Wendy
    Like you I wanted to spread the word after my transplant. I have such a great story. A co-worker donated me a kidney and I wanted to tell the world. Keep up this blog it’s a great thing you are doing

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