My Living Donation Journey – Part 7: Ciao, Left Kidney!

Although The Living Legacy Foundation only facilitates deceased organ, eye and tissue donation, our organization is supportive of all members of the transplant community, including those involved in living donation. Because of this, Lauren Muskauski, community outreach associate for The LLF, thought it would be interesting to write about her own experiences as she navigated through the process of becoming a living donor. These blog entries, pulled from her personal journal, will be posted in parts for the next few weeks as she awaits the final stage of her journey: surgery. For more information about living donation, you may visit one of our transplant centers’ web pages: University of Maryland Medical Center, or The Johns Hopkins Hospital,

Today’s blog post is the first from this series that is actually being written and posted in real-time, meaning today actually is the day before my surgery. Although I feel there should be a lot to write today, there actually isn’t. My weekend was filled with preparations for my surgery: laundry, cleaning, etc., followed by a quick trip to Pennsylvania to celebrate my cousin’s birthday and spend time with my family. One of my cousins baked me a kidney cake, which was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. My family was supportive and sweet, and I’m so glad I was able to spend time with them before my surgery.

My cousin surprised me with a kidney cake

Today, I am on an all-liquid diet in preparation for surgery and I’m pretty hungry, but besides that, today has been pretty uneventful. I went to work to tie up loose ends and also to distract me from any pre-surgery anxiety and it worked – I think I am more anxious about being out of work for a few weeks than I am about the actual surgery. Although, the closer it gets to the end of the day, I can feel myself getting more and more nervous.

The best part about today has been the overwhelming amount of encouragement and kind words I’ve gotten throughout the day. I’ve had coworkers texting, e-mailing and stopping by to hug me, friends and family have been checking in on me all day – the amount of well-wishes and support I’ve gotten has been incredible and I feel very blessed to have so many people thinking about and praying for me as I go into surgery.

In other news, Tyler has been doing well, except for some issues with high blood pressure (which is being managed with medication). He was finally released from the hospital yesterday and is now able to relax at home in between doctor’s appointments. I know he is very happy to be home. The other day I told him if he was still in the hospital this week, he could hang out with me in my hospital room and he said if he was still in the hospital this week, he was going to try to escape! I can’t say I blame him – I don’t care how wonderful the staff is and how much they wait on you at the hospital –  there’s nothing better than snuggling up in your own bed!

On that note, I am going to end this post by saying a big thank you to everyone who has been following my blog posts and sending me such wonderfully encouraging messages. I appreciate them more than anyone could possibly know.  Stay tuned for post-donation updates. The next post I write, I will be doing so with one less kidney in my body!

More entries from this series:
My Living Donation Journey – Part 1: The Decision
My Living Donation Journey – Part 2: Defending My Decision
My Living Donation Journey – Part 3: Taking a Break
My Living Donation Journey – Part 4: The Approval
My Living Donation Journey – Part 5: Holy Toledo!
My Living Donation Journey – Part 6: A New Kidney for Tyler
My Living Donation Journey – Part 7: Ciao, Left Kidney!
My Living Donation Journey – Part 8: The Surgery
My Living Donation Journey – Part 9: The Recovery


About Lauren

Lauren Muskauski is the communications associate at The Living Legacy Foundation. She heads up many community outreach initiatives and projects, with a focus on middle school, high school and college outreach. She also manages The LLF’s and Donate Life Maryland’s presence on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Lauren’s commitment to donation started early when she registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor at the MVA upon receiving her first drivers’ license, but was then reinforced a few years later when her father passed away while waiting for a liver transplant. Now, she continues to be inspired on a daily basis by the generosity of donors and their families, as well as the gratitude exhibited by every recipient she meets.
This entry was posted in Living Donation, Transplant Recipients. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Living Donation Journey – Part 7: Ciao, Left Kidney!

  1. Mike Keppel says:

    Go Lauren go! You are a wonderful person for doing this. God bless you.

  2. Barbara Waller Blumthal says:

    You just cannot imagine how thankful we all are. You are so special. Hope your recovery is quick , but take it easy since you can. Thank you again, Barbara Blumthal, Tyler’s great-aunt.

  3. Barbara Waller Blumthal says:

    and did you see that yesterday, the day of your surgery, facebook is adding info for organ donation!

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