2020 was a bad year for many people. But lots of us can name some silver linings that came from the isolation, depression, and all that bad stuff. One for me was joining the Zoom write-ins started by the writing association I belong to, WFWA or the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. We gather on Zoom to write, talk about writing and publishing, and make friends.
Kelly, one of our members who I happened to be friends with before on Facebook, has a genetic kidney disease. She’s a beautiful badass for lots of reasons, a few being she survived a suicide bombing at a hotel in Kenya, is an award-winning journalist who started her own online news site when the entity she was working for had to fold, and she knows her way around the American healthcare system better than most of us. Pretty awesome since she’s from Israel.
Kelly lives in the Los Angeles area. Wait time there for a donated kidney is ten years. Kelly doesn’t have that long. So we in the Zoom meetings do whatever we can do to offer support to Kelly. But one woman is going way beyond prayers and good thoughts and donating to fundraisers.
Pamela is donating a kidney. Pamela is a badass in her own right, not least for having adopted three children from overseas and handling everything that goes with international adoptions. Pamela was moved to help Kelly by donating a kidney and has the full support of her family. A whole family of badasses.
Today, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, a team of doctors will remove one of Pamela’s kidneys. It will be flown on a commercial flight from New Jersey to Los Angeles and be installed into Kelly. We at WFWA are calling it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Kidney. We are worried and excited at the same while expecting the best possible outcomes for both women.
WFWA, led by the Write-Inmates, have been doing things for weeks to get ready. Pages have been set up at Give InKind (see links at the end for more of their stories and to donate if you are so moved) to provide meals and other things of their choosing to get through the recovery process. Many of us are wearing bracelets spelling out Beautiful Badass or Brave and Beautiful with beads in Morse code. And we’ve been sending every prayer and thought we have time for into the heavens for the health of our dear friends.
Today, Tuesday, March 29, WFWA is hosting an event on Zoom to support Kelly and Pamela as they undergo their respective surgeries. Below is the link to WFWA’s Facebook event page. Click on the Join Event button and stop by to write, chat, and/or burn a candle which is a tradition at our writing meetings. https://bit.ly/3uB1Lbf
If you’re interested in learning about kidney disease and/or the donation process check out The American Kidney Foundation.
If donating an organ is more of a badass thing than you’re prepared for, consider registering for bone marrow/stem cell donation at Be The Match to possibly provide what people with blood cancers and other blood diseases need to survive.
Now, go forth and be your own kind of beautiful badass. The world needs us.