Claire Tardif donated a kidney to her husband, Jean-Guy.

When donating a kidney means doing something for yourself

Doing myself some good meant deciding, without batting an eyelash, that I wanted to donate a kidney to my husband, who had suffered from kidney failure for six years.

Doing myself some good meant understanding that someone had given me a guardian angel, France Martineau, a specialized nurse from the Royal Victoria Hospital, who was with me throughout this incredible experience, and who, to this day, takes very good care of me.

Doing myself some good meant putting my trust in an amazing team of nurses and medical specialists who made this miracle of life a reality.

Doing myself some good meant gratefully receiving help from my employer and my co-worker, who gave me the flexibility I needed to undergo the seven months of medical tests that would eventually confirm that I could donate a kidney to my husband.

Doing myself some good meant accepting the wave of spontaneous generosity on the part of our neighbours Karen, Dan, Mario, Andrea and Josie who, upon hearing of what we were doing, all got together to whip up healthy meals and make sure I felt safe while my husband remained in hospital. And then there was Frank who, out of the kindness of his heart, mowed our lawn all summer and raked our leaves in fall.

Today, doing myself some good means looking at my husband, the man I gave my kidney to on June 16, 2011, and seeing that he radiates new-found energy. I can’t help but think about the wonderful opportunity I was given to present him with this gift, and about the long life together we now have ahead of us.

Go on, donate a kidney: it really does you a lot of good!

Claire Tardif