Wednesday, October 5, 2011


October has always been my favourite month. When I was a kid, I had 2 friends (as well as myself) and 5 family members (including my Dad) with birthday. That equalled a lot of cake and parties. Throw in Thanksgiving, the wonderful leaves (especially in Ontario) and October was a pretty great thing.

It's also been a month where big, life changing things have happened in my life. Thanksgiving 2005, I was maid of honour in my friends wedding-it was a beautiful wedding for a wonderful couple but I was miserable. I was also unemployed and starting to give up on whether or not I'd ever find a job again (dramatic I know but if you've been in that position more than a few weeks, you know how it feels). But two weeks later (on my 30th birthday no less) I finally got a job offer-for a job I really wanted. Fast forward a year. On October 6, 2006, I moved to Calgary which was probably the smartest thing I've done in my adult life.It was also the biggest, scariest thing I've done (and another thing that left my family and friends thinking I was crazy).  Ironically the move came 24 hours after probably the single worst event/day of my life-which very few of you know about. It was a tough time but I made it through and Calgary has become my home. I've done really well here-something I think set the stage for another huge event in my life-the "Kidney Thing".

Someone recently said to me that while they think they could go through with donating a kidney to a stranger from a medical perspective, they just couldn't right now with where they are in their lives. They thought that  they sounded selfish in saying that and apologized for it. It really isn't selfish though-its the truth. If you told Lauren of 2005 that in under 6 years she'd be donating her kidney, she would have thought you were nuts. I wasn't capable of even thinking about something like that then. My head was somewhere else (virtually underwater actually). I had a quarter of the confidence I do now. I was a very different person. Even as recently as 3 years ago I don't think I would have considered it-I didn't have the stability and the support I do now.

I think last October when I made the choice to contact the Living Donor program, it wasn't just about seeing something on TV and looking into it. I'm sure I've heard other donation stories over the last few years that didn't even stick with me because I wasn't open to the possibility. It wasn't the right time for me to hear the message and ponder the possibility that I could do something like that. Timing really is everything. Last October something hit me right. Something compelled me. And here we are. Friday is the four month anniversary of the end result of that decision last year - Leftie moving into his new home. I'm feeling great and optimistic about what the next opportunities are around the corner-seeing what this October will bring me.