Thursday, April 16, 2020

Lost in Transplantation - Book Review

Read an Excerpt
One of the deepest human yearnings is to know that our lives have meaning and purpose.  There is this need to make a real difference.  Eldonna Edwards' memoir, Lost in Transplantation, is ultimately a book about how you find your way to that place.

For Edwards, the gift was that of life.  In choosing to be a living kidney donor, she literally gave of herself to ensure another individual, and a stranger at that, could experience the very life of life.  This story, though, is not written to spotlight Eldonna.  The real underlying message is one that will, perhaps in more subtle ways, inspire each of us to commit an act of uncommon goodness, grace, generosity, or no-strings-attached love.

The opportunity, for Edwards, arrived unexpectedly.  As a 48-year-old single mom enrolled in community college courses, Eldonna learned that one of her young classmates was suffering from a kidney condition that would prematurely end her life.  Though she did not know this young woman very well, Edwards quickly realized she wanted to donate a kidney to her.  To Eldonna's great disappointment, her offer was rejected.  Sometimes an individual in great need is not ready to receive—not even a gift being freely given with pure motives.

This could very easily have been the end of it, but a seed had been planted.  Edwards found herself on a quest to learn everything she could about the need for kidney donors and the process of donor selection.  The more she discovered, the stronger the urge grew to help someone on the kidney transplant list.  It turns out, though, that there would be major hurdles standing in the way.

To read Lost in Transplantation, is to accompany Eldonna on her winding pathway to giving what she most wanted to give.  It is also to be there when she receives what she most needed to receive.  You will find yourself becoming completely invested in the author and her mission because of Eldonna's authenticity, her humility, her beautiful humanity, and the unassuming way she touches hearts.

This book held great meaning for me.  When my mother was diagnosed with renal cancer, which required the removal of her malignant kidney, I began to think about the possibility of needing to donate a kidney to her.  Mom had various conditions that made the reliance on one kidney rather precarious and quite risky.  As I sat in the hospital by her bedside following nephrectomy surgery, I learned that her sole remaining kidney was not picking up the extra duty that her second kidney had previously performed.  I was ready to offer my mother one of my kidneys should it become necessary.

To offer a close family member a kidney is one thing.  To offer a total stranger a kidney is quite another.  Lost in Transplantation will move you in ways you weren't expecting.  Perhaps this will be the story that leads you to an act of kindness or mercy that will completely transform a life.  Not everyone can donate a kidney, but each of us can donate something, big or small, that will make the kind of difference that brings meaning and purpose into life.

I wish to thank Eldonna Edwards for the gift of this book and her healing presence in the world.  You inspire me!  I highly recommend that you pick up her memoir today.  For those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read this for free.  This link will take you there.





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13 comments:

  1. Beautifully written book review, Diana. The topic resonates with me because my mother had one kidney stop working due to cancer and the other not able to do the job alone. She ended up on dialysis 3X a week. In her case, a kidney transplant was not an option, but I believe Eldonna Edwards' story will be an interesting read as I am a registered organ donor.

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    1. I didn't realize we had that in common, Pat. I am so sorry your mother had to go through that. Why was a transplant not an option for your mother (if this is not too personal to ask)? I think, perhaps, that would also have been true for my mom given her age and the fact that this was her third incidence of cancer. This is a memoir that I believe you will truly enjoy because Eldonna is an extraordinary woman.

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    2. Thanks, Diana. Mom had several cancers, including bladder cancer, and was 84 and generally in poor health otherwise. She had already had several surgeries.

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  2. Thank you so much for a moving review. Organ donations are such a wonderful way to give back. When my granddaughter was 5 months old she had a liver transplant. Today she turns 11 years old and is alive because of the donor. She got her organ from a deceased donor, but I learned at the time that liver transplants can also be given by live donors who give a part of their liver (which will regenerate itself). Amazing! Thanks for the review.

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    1. What an amazing gift... your granddaughter and the donor who gave her the gift of life. I am a registered organ donor and hope to one day provide that same joy to a family. I'm so thankful for your precious one and the life she now lives. Isn't it astonishing that our bodies will replenish themselves in order that we may share them in this way? Thank you for offering up your personal story. Very much appreciated and meaningful.

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  3. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who are very generous and giving of their time, resources, etc, but I've never personally known anyone "living" who gave a vital body organ to someone. That is quite a gift and not one given without a very real personal cost. Not to mention the health risks the donor is taking. I have no doubt this is an excellent and inspiring memoir.

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    1. It takes giving to a whole new level, doesn't it? To give up something you might need is truly beyond unselfish. I want to be that person. Would I have the courage? Could I be that generous? What would it take to get to that point? These things I ponder after reading Eldonna's memoir.

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  4. Wow Diana, as I said earlier this sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. Selflessness is rare and beautiful when you find it. Thank you for putting this book on my radar! I will certainly look for it on Kindle and let you know how it impacted me too.

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    1. Happy to introduce you to Lost in Transplantation. I hope you are uplifted by the messages to be found in Eldonna's life story. There is much that we can take forward off of these pages and apply to the lives of those we wish to touch in beautiful ways. I will look forward to your reflections after you read this inspirational memoir.

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  5. Thank you for the review of this book. Again, if it wasn't for all the wonderful reviews on ReviewThisReviews, I would never know about these reading choices. Like several who have commented here, I've known two people who donated organs while living - one a kidney to her brother, and another just recently a part of her liver. It's an incredible gift to offer and to receive - sorry about your mom and her struggles, so hard to go through.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments about my Mom. She was a warrior throughout her cancer journey. Living donors are my heroes. Giving life is the ultimate gift.

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  6. I love reading memoirs for inspiration and courage for all of our unique, yet interwined journeys. Thank you for bringing this book to light.

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    1. That is definitely a beautiful reason for reading this particular memoir. It is filled with enough courage and inspiration for all of us. Always happy to introduce books worth reading.

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