Seven years ago today, the guy on the right (otherwise known as Eddie) gave the guy on the left (our good friend Bill) a kidney. Every year since the donation, Eddie and Bill have breakfast to celebrate the day. I think they decided to do breakfast because they weren’t able to eat anything the morning of the donation. I’m willing to bet a $100 that Eddie’s plate had plenty of bacon on it.
It was a random set of circumstances that led to this day in 2010. One night during our book group, my friend Beth told us that Bill was going to need a new kidney. Beth was lined up to be the donor, but the situation was a little complicated. When I got home that night, I told Eddie about Bill. After a brief conversation, we agreed that Eddie should find out if he might be a good match. The company that Eddie was working for had just closed and Eddie had time on his hands. Turns out he also had two healthy kidneys, and miraculously, was a perfect match for Bill.
The only problem was that Eddie was (and remains) a New York Yankee fan. Bill, like most good Massachusetts residents, is a hardcore Red Sox fan. The medical decision was easy, but the psychological struggle of welcoming a kidney from ‘that team’??? Well, that almost was too much to bear. After much prayer and contemplation, Bill finally realized that he would have to set aside his brand of politics, momentarily take off his red baseball hat, and welcome a Yankee into his life. It speaks to Bill’s maturity and level-headedness that he was able to be the bigger person and see the value of making this lifelong exception to his dedication to the Sox.
This Yankee kidney remains strong, as does the connection between Eddie & Bill, and their family with ours. While Eddie and I will never see Bill wearing a Yankee hat or shirt, the two of us always get a good chuckle over the ironic rivalry of Bill’s internal organs. On this seventh ‘kidney birthday’, I wish Bill and Eddie many more happy & healthy years. May both teams keep winning, and may your future kidney breakfasts be overflowing with laughter, good memories, and enough bacon for everyone.