Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Starting Out on the Transplant Journey

This journey to our granddaughter's kidney transplant actually started a little over two years ago, when Crystal was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease. We all knew back then that though there was no cure for this disease which would lead to her kidneys failing sometime during her teen years, there was something that could rescue her, a lifeline of sorts - a kidney transplant.

For two years, you (our friends and family) have been updated on how Crystal is doing through Crystal's CaringBridge site, through our monthly newsletters, and as we have met and shared our lives in person. Maybe we have sounded like a broken record for these two years, continually asking for prayer. For Gary and me, it has been an all-consuming thing always on our minds - in the midst of a very full life of Cru ministry, and a full life with our family of 22 (our six grown children, four sons-in-law, and ten grandkids!), and also during the past six months of helping care for our aging (Siebert) father. Thanks for always listening and caring, and for being forgiving to us if we have talked about this or written about this too much at times!

And now the time of transplant is here ... tomorrow we make the 12-hour drive to Dallas, also taking Amy along (our oldest daughter who is the amazing, generous kidney donor for Crystal). We'll be staying with Cristy & Mark and their family, and will have a few days all together in their home before Crystal will be admitted to the hospital this Saturday morning, and then Amy very early this next Monday morning. They also both have some pre-op testing this Thursday, and the actual transplant will take place on Monday morning, April 20th.

You are invited to read the very detailed updates of transplant and recovery on Crystal's CaringBridge site. Cristy does an amazing job of keeping family and friends updated through this site. We would love for you to follow her updates!

There is no need for us to repeat here what our daughter Cristy is doing so well on the CaringBridge site. She will be sharing many of the details of transplant surgery and recovery, as well as asking for prayer along the way. But this place here will be our own online journal of sorts, sharing our thoughts along the journey, asking for prayer from our perspective. Our days will be full serving our TX family, and also caring for Amy through surgery and recovery ... so we are not sure how often we will be able to write here. But as writing is part of living and breathing for me (Cherry), I'm sure you will see us here quite often! 

Feel free to respond or ask questions along the way ... through comments here or on facebook as we link our posts there. We both know that this is not a road to be walked alone ... we are in need of God's mercy and strength each day of our lives. And we are so appreciative of our friends and family who pray for us. Thank you for being part of this journey together with us.

I (Cherry) read these words yesterday, and they comforted me and encouraged me as we step into these days/weeks of caring for our family during transplant ...

The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs
in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
(Isaiah 58:11)

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