‘Grandma, do you know you are risking your life?’
Marianne Clyde is a well known Rappahannock County resident who resides in Woodville with her husband, Bob. She enjoys daunting accomplishments: writing and publishing numerous articles and best-selling books; appearing on radio and television; founder of the Marianne Clyde Center for Holistic Psychotherapy in Warrenton; winner of the 2017 Lifestyle Magazine’s Best of Warrenton award; and founder of Be the Change Foundation empowering and equipping women in need to build successful home-based businesses. She was also selected as Northern Virginian of the Year 2018 by Northern Virginian Magazine.
Perhaps her most daunting accomplishment, however, is this summer’s decision to donate a kidney to Lake Lester.
He is a man she barely knows. He is not a family member, nor neighbor, nor close friend. He is simply a man in her professional network suffering from final stage renal failure.
Lester posted his grave condition on social media, reaching out for help. Marianne answered, and her act of selfless kindness saved not only his life but that of another as well, thanks to the kidney exchange program.
Marianne did not share Lester’s blood type, so while she could not be his donor, her kidney would be paired with another recipient, which in turn automatically qualified Lester for the kidney exchange program where he would receive a matching blood type kidney.
Nearly 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Many more people are waiting for a kidney than all other organs combined. Every day a dozen people die while awaiting a kidney.
Lester shared that neither his wife nor immediate family, because of their health issues, were qualified to be donors. He is an affable man with a hearty laugh, a great sense of humor and so very grateful to Marianne for offering him a second chance.
Speaking to Marianne in her living room shortly after her surgery — while being visited by her son, David Killmeyer — she tells of the process, one of surprising simplicity.
A day spent undergoing tests to determine her eligibility for donation, her surgery — which had her home in one day, no pain medication necessary, some slight discomfort. And her recovery was rapid.
Indeed, within a week’s time she was back to myriad events and enjoying her good friends.
Curious about the associated expenses of such a procedure, she shared that there was no cost to her whatsoever. Lake’s insurance covered the testing as well as the procedure and all follow-up visits.
As for her husband Bob’s reaction when she first told him of her plans, he was fully supportive, and unsurprised by his wife’s kindness and courage. She similarly shared the news with the couple’s blended family — she and Bob share eigth children plus grandchildren.
“Grandma, do you know you are risking your life?” her grandson Jedi commented. She reassured him and her family that the procedure was low risk and the resulting benefits for others great.
For further information on how to become a donor, please visit one of the following sites. Following in Marianne’s footsteps might be one of the most generous, selfless acts any of us can do.
For more information, visit the kidney donor site.