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Health Information In My Own Words: "I'm a Living Kidney Donor!"

Michele Schneible celebrates giving the gift of life to her uncle Ben.

In the June-July issue, Discover Rush Online introduced you to Michele Schneible and her uncle Ben, whose lives both changed forever when Michele made the momentous decision to donate one of her kidneys to Ben ("The Greatest Gift"). The following is an excerpt from part two of Michele’s post on the Rush InPerson blog, which recounts the procedures at Rush University Medical Center in June 2011 to remove Michele's kidney and transplant it into Ben:

The day before the surgery was a celebration. My parents flew in from Arizona, and my Auntie Sharon hosted a pre-surgery costume party — we all dressed like doctors in scrubs, and I presented them two huge red velvet cakes in the shape of kidneys! Note to all of you: Do not eat red velvet cake before surgery; it can freak out the hospital staff. But the party didn't end there; it happened the morning of our surgery as well. Rush University Medical Center was so accommodating in allowing us our fun. We took pictures in our hospital gowns and silver berets, smiling for the camera in secluded dressing rooms hours before our surgeries.

From then on, I don't remember much, to be honest, because I was given drugs to relax while I was waiting to be wheeled into surgery. I just remember the surgical staff hovering over my head, like clusters of happy floating moon faces. They were adjusting my blankets, holding my hand and telling me about how brave I was and a hero. Hero?! Knowing me, I must've garbled something sarcastic to say, and then it was lights out …

Find out how Michele’s and Ben’s procedures went, what transplant surgeon Edward Hollinger, MD, PhD, had to say about Michele’s kidney, and how Michele and Ben are doing today, by visiting the Rush InPerson blog.


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Please Note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

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