A Kidney Mom’s Story

My name is Stacy Schwerin, and I’m the mother of Jessica Rose Schwerin, who had a kidney transplant on January 11th, 2013. In a very short time, we went from a backache to kidney failure, and then I found out that I couldn’t donate a kidney because I’m diabetic. I didn’t know what to do until one day, I saw a pink paper next to my computer desk. I wrote a note and went to stand on the corner by Walmart, holding a sign looking for a kidney.

(Jessica) I was feeling very sad and couldn’t handle it.   (Stacy) If it wasn’t for the kidney already being donated, she would have definitely been on dialysis, which would have been a horrific deal.

(Brian) I had a hankering for a stick of gum, and very honestly, that’s the only reason I went to the store that day. I read the times online, and I felt like it was karma because her face was right on the counter on the front of the newspaper when I walked in. To see a parent willing to stand on a corner for their child and go that far was one big thing that got my attention. I called the University of Michigan on my own and got tested about two weeks after, and we found out I was a perfect match for her in early November. They were notified the day before Thanksgiving of 2012.

(Stacy) The day before Thanksgiving, they called and said that we had a donor with a perfect match, and that the operation would be scheduled in January. That’s when I just screamed at the top of my lungs, not knowing Brian only lived four blocks away. I’m sure he could have heard me. (Jessica)

I felt really relieved, but I was really scared I was going to have to go on dialysis.  I felt happy, and I thought I should do a bunch of stuff I could not do before my transplant. And what I was so excited about is I could eat potatoes and tomatoes and all my favorite food. I’m thinking about when I grow up being like a doctor or a nurse. There are a lot of people out there just sitting in a hospital bed waiting for a miracle to happen, and I know how that felt because some people can’t help themselves, like family members. Like my mom couldn’t help me. That was devastating for her, I know that. I could not imagine wanting and  needing help, it would break my heart.

(Brian) It will be one of the most fantastic experiences you’ll ever go through in your life. There’s no better gift you can ever give than the gift of life. I don’t know, it all seemed so long ago, but yet I’m surprised it’s 10 years already. And just to keep praying everything goes good for the next 152 years. You’re just kind of in awe. Someone who can be so unselfish of themselves to give a piece of themselves to give someone else life.

(Jessica) All I want to say is whoever out there who needs help, who is going through something, there’s always a miracle out there, and you can always be saved.

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