The Life and Times of Chuck Basement

Grandpop and Lily: Day One


Sunday, March 6, 2011

(Earlier this week the United Network for Organ Sharing or UNOS, a government-funded agency, announced it was considering dedicating 20% of available organs to specific age matches in an effort it believes will allocate more deceased donor organs to those with a longer expected life span. While on its surface this appears to be the right thing to do it has the potential for many unintended consequences. In an editorial the New York Times warned against this due to these unintended consequences. My friend from high school, T-Mac, sent me the link and asked for my opinion.

This was my  response that ended up going out to a lot of friends)


Hi Terry, and Janne, and all of you,

Since a number of people from our church were inadvertently copied on your query I thought I would include them in my full response. Anne and I could not have made it through the illness, the deterioration, and the transplant process without them. I know St Philip church was, as a whole, with us every step of the way with their support and, most importantly, their strong and heartfelt prayers. It’s a big church and I needed all the help I could get.

I agree with the NY Times editorial you sent and am both surprised and proud of them that they came out this way. If one supports 100% of Obamacare one must accept rationing and the Times was more than supportive of this legislation. In true secular fashion and with their passion for science almost exclusive they missed one very important point.

Yes, there became a series of circumstances that came to work in my favor not the least of which was one doctor’s referral of me to this outstanding medical team at U of Alabama Hospital. But did those circumstances come about solely because of fickle fate or was it a small piece of God’s plan?

Faith. Without pure, unadulterated faith it could have turned out quite different. With a chronic disease and a slow journey you get a lot of time for both reflection and prayer.

Very early on I stopped praying for my good health and the delivery of a miracle but instead came to pray that “God’s will be done.” Oh I wanted to live don’t get me wrong but I concluded that if you believe in a soul, in an afterlife, and have faith in a power greater than yourself then you cannot fear death. I prepared myself really believing the outcome would be what it was supposed to be and I made the necessary preparations for Anne and the kids.

Hope. While faith is from within hope is where all your loved ones, your friends, the complete strangers who hear about your situation carry you further than you could ever go alone. Hope is contagious and, when driven by so many, powerful. There were many times in the hospital, like when they almost lost me in the internal bleeding episode, that we knew we were being uplifted up by the hopes and prayers of so many.

Charity. I don’t know my donor’s name or family. Anne has written to them and not yet received a response and that is certainly their right. Frankly, I’m still working up to that because I have a hard time feeling worthy enough and there is so much I need to do to live up to my donor’s charity. Maybe that’s why I’m so driven: I do it to honor the incredible charity of my donor.

And the greatest of these is Love, of course, and I have received much more than my share.

To answer your question I can only pray that a system is maintained that is as equitable as possible because, candidly, “fair” is impossible.

And beyond that: God’s will be done.


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