Monday, February 23, 2009

One step at a time....

So, I made it up all those damn stairs again. Yesterday I did the Hustle up the Hancock with my pal Steve from Revive Hope to raise money for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. Big, big Muchas Gracias to everyone who contributed to the fund raising. There's still time to send in a few bucks if you'd like to help out the cause.

Chicago is pretty cold but not much colder than NJ, which isn't really saying much. I woke up Saturday at 4am to catch an 8:40 flight out of JFK which was delayed for 40 minutes anyway. It has not been a weekend for sleep but that's ok. I did again meet the girls(and one guy) from Iowa.
Everyone in this picture is named Ryan

We got to the Hancock around 7am Sunday morning. The streets of Chicago are pretty quite at that hour, so it feels like you're getting there really early. Then you walk into the building and see this:

It's quite a melee

Gear check was especially painful. I got up to the front of the line and all I could see was a wall of plastic garbage bags with hands reaching out the grab people's stuff. Getting it back was no picnic either, but we managed.

I did also get to meet Melissa, a heart transplant recipient who blogs at revivehope with Steve. The neat thing about hanging out with Melissa and Steve, for me, and I hope this doesn't sound stupid, is that it's interesting to hear their stories, talk to them about what it's like to live with a transplant, how they got their organ, stories of their donor families, etc. EXCEPT that it's as a friend, not as a nurse and a patient. That's really nice for me.

I used to think, even when I was recovering organs, that I wouldn't want a transplant if, God forbid, I ever needed one. I mean, maybe if my kids were small, so I could stick around for them. I didn't really know any post transplant people and the regimen seemed so hard and it seemed like, to me, that maybe the cure was worse than the illness. Now that I'm on the other side of it, working with recipients, I see that that's not true. I have patients that have complications, a small few who died, but the majority of them are like Steve and Melissa-vibrant, healthy people who you'd never know had a transplant unless they told you. It is truly amazing how people get their lives back, or in some cases, get a better life than they ever had in the first place.

Of course I didn't get a picture of the three of us together. Because. I. Am. A. Doofus. (Smacks forehead). Well, we'll all just have to get together again next year.

Anyway, I think I did a few minutes better than last year, although my legs are tired today.

You take the stairs. I'll leap up to the top in a single bound.
Up, up and away!


Karen said...

Congrats on the climb! Amazing! My knees complain about climbing the stairs to the second floor of my house. I can't even imagine climbing the Hancock building. I think I'll hitch a ride with the little one... up, up and away!

Unknown said...

TC, the Beautiful Writer from NJ - Steve's SISTA! Great meeting you. I will talk more about you on Revive Hope in the coming was a thrill!

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