Donate Life Texas

“UNBOUND”

I have know about the struggles that my Uncle has had fighting kidney disease for many years. However, I never REALLY knew how hard he had to fight every day just to lead a semi normal life. I never knew the courage it took for him to never complain, even make it to work on time or early every day. When I moved back to Texas we got much closer and a part of each other’s lives. This is when I got an inside look at his dialysis schedule and the toll it took on him because his kidneys had shut down on him.
I remember the day when I had seen enough….we were having dinner at his house and after dinner he looked up and said “I’m sorry guys, I need to go to bed, I have no energy”. At that moment I knew that we had to take action. On the car ride home, I had a brief discussion with my new wife, and we agreed that I needed to go get tested. It was a brave decision on her part as well as we were still newlyweds and she was willing to be a critical part of this process, knowing that there were major risks involved. We immediatly called my uncle and Aunt and asked them to get us in touch with the transplant team.
The risks were abundant and there were many “unknowns” but it boiled down to one underlying factor, we prayed and asked God for guidance so we knew that we were doing the right thing and over and over we were guided and sent down the path that lead to donation. I was only 3 weeks into my new GM position at my new job but thankfully they understood and allowed me to have up to 3 weeks recovery time (unpaid, I need to be clear about). Even the financial impact was looming for us, but that worked out as well.
Having an amazing and supporting wife was paramount in this whole process because she helped me get to and from Houston about 6 times over a 9 month period. I think its pretty brave to be ok ( at least on the outside) so I could feed off her positivity and keep a level head through all this. My family was scared but supportive they were also very important in our decision to donate. I think that my grandfather was the most scared because I had been away from him for so long and he had just got me back and could not bare the thought of losing me again. At the same time he was proud of me! His being proud of me is something I had wanted for such a long time! He had recently lost the love of his life, and my biggest inspiration for everything I ever do, Jean Nelson. Jean is still a part of every decision I make and I will be dedicating my first medal at the transplant games to her honor as she is and always be my strength and inspiration.
The transplant went great, the team at Methodist Hospital is just amazing and made the process comfortable and quick. We were both home 3 days later to see the Dallas Cowboys win a playoff game. It was amazing to see my uncle up and moving and to know that his new kidney was working just fine. 15 days later I was back to work, still slightly reserved but able to perform every function of my job. 5 days after that I ran my first 2 mile run!!
90 days post op I was a part of a Kidney Run in my home town of Nacogdoches where I placed first in my division and second overall, i was fully recovered at that time. Since then God has opened doors in my life that I never saw coming. I found a new job that I fully plan on retiring from and many more opportunities that I couldn’t possibly go into in this story.
In conclusion, sometimes when we have faith and make the tough decision to do the right thing that amazing things happens and people are transformed and given new life and new hope. If YOU had the power to literally CHANGE someone’s life, would you be brave enough to get tested?
My uncle got to meet his first grandbaby this year and to see how happy he is holding her, makes me fulfilled know that I had a small part in helping him be able to see her. He is doing great and living a full and happy life!
We are super excited to attend the 2016 TGA transplant games and June and bring back many stories of hope to share and help people that also want to donate.
Go Team Texas Life Warriors!!!
Clifton McBee

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